G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who worked for the reelection committee for President Richard Nixon and an infamous figure in the Watergate scandal, has died at age 90.
Liddy died Tuesday morning in Mt. Vernon, Virginia.
According to his son, Liddy had a “variety of ailments,” but that his death was not Covid-19 related and that he had received the coronavirus vaccine three weeks ago.
G. Gordon Liddy was convicted for his part in organizing the Watergate break-in on charges of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping and served 4.5 years after President Jimmy Carter commuted his original 20-year sentence to eight.
Liddy later went on to host a radio show and hold an acting career.
The role for which he is best remembered was in the plot to bug the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex in June 1972.
Liddy’s combination of can-do ruthlessness, loyalty to Nixon and ends-justify-the-means philosophy made him a natural fit in a White House determined to get even with its political enemies.
At the same time, he was viewed by his superiors as “a little nuts,” in Nixon’s phrase.
“I mean, he just isn’t well screwed on, is he?” the president complained to chief of staff H.R. Haldeman a week after the break-in.
His friend and fellow Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt described him as “a wired, wisecracking extrovert who seemed as if he might be a candidate for decaffeinated coffee.”
Detractors viewed the gun-loving, hippie-hating Liddy as a threat to American democracy and the man responsible for many of the “dirty tricks” of the Nixon administration that led to the resignation of the president on Aug. 9, 1974.
Supporters admired his war against “radicals” and “subversives” and his refusal to betray his fellow Watergate conspirators in return for a reduced prison term.