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G. Gordon Liddy

Radio Personality / Political Scandal Figure

Born: 30 November 1930
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey
Best known as:

The nutty leader of the Watergate burglars

Name at birth: George Gordon Battle Liddy

G. Gordon Liddy led the team of burglars whose capture in 1972 led to the Watergate scandal that forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency in 1974. At the time, Liddy was legal counsel for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP, but known as "Creep") and part of a White House group called the "Plumbers" -- because of their goal of preventing information leaks to the press. Liddy, a former F.B.I. agent (1957-62), landed a job in the Nixon administration after working in New York on Nixon's 1968 campaign. First assigned to the Treasury, he became a presidential staff assistant in 1971, working under John Dean. While at CRP, Liddy proposed operation "Gemstone," a series of criminal activities meant to disrupt political opposition to Nixon's re-election. Although most of his crazy plots were nixed, Liddy and E. Howard Hunt were assigned the duty of breaking into the Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate building complex. They were caught by local police, and the resulting White House cover-up cost Nixon the presidency and put Liddy in jail for 52 months (1973-77). He published an autobiography, Will, in 1980, and spent the rest of that decade making guest appearances in movies and TV shows (like Miami Vice, for example), while trying to make it in the security consulting business. Liddy hosted his own radio talk show from 1992 to 2012, published two novels and other non-fiction books and occasionally popped up on TV, either spouting off about politics or appearing on reality shows (he was on Fear Factor in 2006).

Extra credit:

G. Gordon Liddy went to Fordham University and earned his law degree there in 1957… Liddy served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War… Liddy famously liked to test his mettle by holding his hand and wrist over a flame until his flesh burned… Liddy has had a long-standing feud with John Dean, the Nixon lawyer whose testimony exploded the investigation; they call each other liars and each blames the other for the Watergate break-in.

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More on G Gordon Liddy from Infoplease:

  • G. Gordon Liddy - Biography of G. Gordon Liddy, The nutty leader of the Watergate burglars
  • Daniel Ellsberg - Biography of Daniel Ellsberg, The whistleblower who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971
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  • Selected Biographies: L - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

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