Washington (AP) — Watergate robbery mastermind and host of a radio talk show after leaving prison, G. Gordon Liddy died Tuesday at his daughter’s home in Virginia at the age of 90.
His son, Thomas Liddy, confirmed his death, but did not reveal the cause except that it had nothing to do with COVID-19.
Former FBI agent and Army veteran Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, robbery, and illegal eavesdropping for his role in the Watergate robbery, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He spent four years and four months in prison, including staying in a cell for over 100 days.
“I’ll do it again for the president,” he said a few years later.
Liddy was frank and controversial as a political operative under Nixon. He recommended assassinating political enemies, bombing left-wing think tanks, and kidnapping war protesters. His White House colleagues ignored such a proposal.
The invasion of one of his ventures, Watergate Building’s Democratic Headquarters, in June 1972 was approved. The robbery failed, leading to an investigation, cover-up, and Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
Liddy was also conspired to conspire to rob the psychiatrist’s office in Daniel Ellsberg, a defense analyst who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers, in September 1971.
After being released from prison, Liddy became the host of a popular, provocative and controversial radio talk show. He also worked as a security consultant, writer and actor. His appearance — sharp black eyes, bushy mustache, and shaved head — made him a well-known spokesperson for product and television guests.
During the broadcast, he provided hints on how to kill federal firearms agents, ran around with a car tag labeled “H20GATE” and despised those who worked with the prosecutor.
Born in Hoboken, NJ, George Gordon Liddy was a frail boy who grew up in a neighborhood that was mostly German-American. Liddy was curious about German leader Adolf Hitler and was inspired by Hitler’s radio speech in the 1930s from his friends and maids who were German citizens.
“If the whole country changes and is raised from weakness to extraordinary strength, one person will change,” Liddy wrote in his autobiography “Will.” His personal story was so interesting that “Will” became the basis for the 1982 television film starring Robert Conrad.
As a boy, Liddy decided that it was important to confront her fears and overcome them. At the age of 11, he roasted the mouse and ate it to overcome the mouse phobia. “From now on, mice were afraid of cats, so they could be afraid of me,” he writes.
After attending Fordham University and working in the Army, Liddy graduated from Fordham University Law School and joined the FBI. He failed to run for parliament from New York in 1968 and helped organize the Nixon presidential campaign in the state.
When Nixon took office, Liddy was appointed Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury and served under Treasury Secretary David M. Kennedy. He later moved to the White House and then to Nixon’s reelection campaign. His official position there was a legal adviser.
Liddy was responsible for a team of Republican operatives known as “plumbers,” whose mission was to find leakers of information that were embarrassing to the Nixon administration. Among Liddy’s specialties was the organization of political intelligence and activities to confuse and damage Nixon’s Democratic opposition.
While Liddy is recruiting women to help carry out one of his plans, no one can force him to reveal her identity or anything against his will. I tried to persuade her that I couldn’t. To persuade her, he held his hand over a fiery cigarette lighter. His hand was severely burned. The woman turned down the job.
Liddy became known for his eccentric proposals, such as kidnapping the organizers of war protests during the Republican National Convention and taking them to Mexico. Assassinate investigative journalist Jack Anderson. He then attacked the Brookings Institution, a left-wing think tank in Washington, where confidential documents leaked by Ellsberg were stored, with incendiary bombs.
Liddy and fellow operative Howard Hunt, along with five arrested at Watergate, were charged with federal crime three months after the June 1972 invasion. Hunt and his recruits were found guilty in January 1973, and James McCord and Liddy were found guilty. Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
After a failed invasion attempt, Liddy recalled what he had said to White House adviser John Dean. Dean reportedly replied, “Gordon, I don’t think I’m there yet.”
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Liddy argued that Nixon was “insufficiently ruthless” and should have destroyed the tape recording of the conversation with the top aide.
Liddy learned to market his reputation as an advocate of fearless, conservative causes, sometimes too enthusiastic. His Syndicated Radio Talk Show, broadcast by Virginia-based WJFK, has long been one of the most popular shows in the country. He wrote best-selling books, appeared on television shows like “Miami Vice,” was a frequent guest lecturer on college campuses, started a private detective franchise, and worked as a security consultant. For some time, he teamed up with his unlikely partner Timothy Leary, a leading LSD player in the 1960s, at the lecture circuit.
In the mid-1990s, Liddy told a radio listener with a gun to aim at his head when an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent encountered him. “Headshots, headshots,” he emphasized, explaining that most agents wear bulletproof vests under their jackets. Liddy later stated that he did not encourage people to hunt agents, but if an agent came to someone with deadly power, he would say, “You protect yourself and your rights with deadly power. Should be. “
Liddy has always been proud of his role at Watergate. He once said: “I’m proud of the fact that I’m the man who didn’t talk.”