(FiveNation.com)- G. Gordon Liddy, who is best known as the mastermind of the burglary at the Watergate building, died this Tuesday. He was 90 years old.
Thomas Liddy, his son, confirmed the death of his father. He didn’t give a cause of death, but he did say it wasn’t related to COVID-19.
For his role in the burglary, Liddy was convicted of burglary, illegal wiretapping and conspiracy. The burglary, though, eventually led to President Richard Nixon resigning from his post.
Liddy, who was an Army veteran and a former agent with the FBI, spent just a little more than four years in prison, 100 days of which were spent in solitary confinement.”
Years after his release, Liddy said: “I’d do it again for my president.”
In his post-prison life, Liddy worked as a writer, actor and security consultant. He also became a provocative talk show host on radio and built a strong following.
Liddy was considered controversial and outspoken, both as a personality on radio and also as a political operative who worked under Nixon. Some of his recommendations — that were ignored by others in the White House — include kidnapping prisoners of war, bombing a think tank that was left-leaning, and assassinating some political enemies.
His most infamous idea, though, was breaking into the Watergate building in 1987 and that was one approved by Nixon. When the burglary didn’t go as smoothly and quietly as planned, an investigation began. The White House tried to cover it up, but the truth came out eventually, and Nixon resigned as president in 1974.
He was later pardoned by Gerald Ford, who was Nixon’s vice president and became president upon Nixon’s resignation. That meant Nixon didn’t serve any time or face any charges in the matter.
Liddy was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in a neighborhood where mostly German-Americans lived. He met friends who were Germans and had a maid who was a German national. That eventually led him to be curious about Adolf Hitler. Liddy began listening to the German leader’s speeches during the 1930s.
In his autobiography, “Will,” Liddy wrote:
“If an entire nation could be changed, lifted out of weakness to extraordinary strength, so could one person.”
Liddy attended Fordham University and then served briefly in the Army. Following the military, he graduated from Fordham’s Law School, joining the FBI after that.
He attempted to run for Congress to represent New York in 1968, but he didn’t win. He did, however, help to organize the presidential campaign for Nixon in New York.
When Nixon won the election and entered the White House, Liddy was named as a special assistant to Treasury, serving under David M. Kennedy, who was Treasury Secretary at the time.
Later, Liddy made his way to a position in the White House, and eventually to general counsel of Nixon’s re-election campaign.
Liddy headed a team of Republicans who were called “the plumbers.” Their mission was to find leakers of information that was embarrassing to the Nixon administration.
He used his skills at organizing activities and gathering political intelligence to either discredit or disrupts Democratic opponents to Nixon.