G. Gordon Liddy
G. Gordon Liddy

George Gordon Battle Liddy, better known
as G. Gordon Liddy is a retired American lawyer and convicted felon best known as
the chief operative in the White House Plumbers unit that existed from
July–September 1971, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. He was convicted of
conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wiretapping for his role in the
Watergate scandal. Separately, along with E. Howard Hunt,
Liddy organized and directed the burglary of the Democratic National
Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in May and June 1972. After
five of Liddy’s operatives were arrested inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972,
subsequent investigations of the Watergate scandal led to Nixon’s
resignation in 1974. Liddy was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and refusing to
testify to the Senate committee investigating Watergate. He served
nearly fifty-two months in federal prisons.
Liddy later joined with Timothy Leary for a series of popular debates on
various college campuses, and similarly worked with Al Franken in the late
1990s. From 1992 to 2012 Liddy served as a radio talk show host until his
retirement on July 27, 2012. His radio show as of 2009 was syndicated in 160
markets by Radio America and on both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite
Radio stations in the United States. He has been a guest panelist for Fox News
Channel in addition to appearing in a cameo role or as a guest celebrity
talent in several television shows. Early years
=Youth, family, education=Liddy was born in Brooklyn, New York, to
Sylvester James Liddy and Maria. Largely of Irish descent, his maternal
grandfather was of Italian descent. Liddy was raised in Hoboken and West
Caldwell, New Jersey. He was named for George Gordon Battle, a New York City
attorney and Tammany Hall DA nominee who had mentored Liddy’s father.
Liddy spent grades 1 through 3 at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. He was
enrolled in the fourth grade at SS Peter and Paul Parochial School. He was
enrolled in St. Aloysius Parochial School at the sixth grade level in
September 1941. He graduated in 1944 and in September of that year he entered
Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, from which he
graduated in June 1948, aged 17.=College, military, law school=
He was educated at Fordham University, graduating in 1952. While at Fordham he
was a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles. Following graduation,
Liddy joined the United States Army, serving for two years as an artillery
officer during the Korean War. He remained stateside for medical reasons.
He returned to New York in 1954 to attend Fordham University School of Law,
earning a position on the Fordham Law Review. After graduating from law school
in 1957, he went to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar
Hoover. FBI
Liddy joined the FBI in 1957, initially serving as a field agent in Indiana and
Denver. In Denver, on September 10, 1960, Liddy apprehended Ernest Tait, one
of two people to be a two-time Top Ten Most Wanted fugitive. At age 29, Liddy
became the youngest Bureau Supervisor at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.. A
protege of deputy director Cartha DeLoach, Liddy became part of director
J. Edgar Hoover’s personal staff and became his ghostwriter. Amongst his
fellow agents he had a reputation for recklessness and was known primarily for
two incidents. The first was an arrest in Kansas City, Missouri during a black
bag job; he was released after calling Clarence M. Kelley, former FBI agent and
chief of the Kansas City Police. The second was running an FBI background
check on his future wife before their marriage in 1957, which Liddy later
referred to as “purely a routine precautionary measure.”
Prosecutor and politician Liddy resigned from the FBI in 1962 and
worked as a lawyer in New York City until 1966. He was then hired by then
district attorney Raymond Baratta as a prosecutor in Dutchess County, New York
after interviewing and providing references from the FBI. In 1966, he led
a drug raid on Timothy Leary’s Milbrook estate which resulted in an unsuccessful
trial. The case generated much publicity though other lawyers complained Liddy
received credit for something in which he played a relatively small role. He
was also reprimanded for firing a revolver at the ceiling in a courtroom.
He ran unsuccessfully for the post of District Attorney. In 1968, he ran for
the United States House of Representatives in New York’s 28th
congressional district, running under the slogan “Gordon Liddy doesn’t bail
them out; he puts them in”, but lost to Hamilton Fish IV in a close race. He
then worked with Egil “Bud” Krogh, Gordon Strachan and David Young, all
aides to John D. Erlichman, Assistant to the President For Domestic Affairs. He
then attained the post, in 1972, of General Counsel, Finance Committee of
the Committee to Re-elect the President,. In Sept. 1973 Krogh, Liddy,
Young and Erlichman were indicted for conspiracy to commit burglary.
White House undercover operative In 1971, after serving in several
positions in the Nixon administration, Liddy was moved to Nixon’s 1972
campaign, the CRP, in order to extend the scope and reach of the White House
“Plumbers” unit, which had been created in response to various damaging leaks of
information to the press. His formal title at CRP was general counsel of the
finance operation. At CRP, Liddy concocted several plots in
early 1972, collectively known under the title “Operation Gemstone”. Some of
these were far-fetched, intended to embarrass the Democratic opposition.
These included kidnapping anti-war protest organizers and transporting them
to Mexico during the Republican National Convention, as well as luring mid-level
Democratic campaign officials to a house boat in Baltimore, where they would be
secretly photographed in compromising positions with prostitutes. Most of
Liddy’s ideas were rejected by Attorney General John N. Mitchell, but a few were
given the go-ahead by Nixon Administration officials, including the
1971 break-in at Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in Los Angeles.
Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. At some point,
Liddy was instructed to break into the Democratic National Committee offices in
the Watergate Complex.=Watergate burglaries=
Liddy was the Nixon Administration liaison and leader of the group of five
men who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the
Watergate Complex. At least two separate entries were made in May and June 1972;
the burglars were caught and apprehended on June 17. The purposes of the break-in
were never conclusively established. The burglars sought to place wiretaps and
planned to photograph documents. Their first attempt had led to
improperly-functioning recording devices being installed. Liddy did not actually
enter the Watergate Complex; rather, he admitted to supervising the second
break-in which he coordinated with E. Howard Hunt, from a room in the adjacent
Watergate Hotel. Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal
wiretapping. Liddy was sentenced to a 20-year prison
term and was ordered to pay $40,000 in fines. He began serving the sentence on
January 30, 1973. On April 12, 1977, President Jimmy Carter commuted Liddy’s
sentence to eight years, “in the interest of equity and fairness based on
a comparison of Mr. Liddy’s sentence with those of all others convicted in
Watergate related prosecutions”, leaving the fine in effect. Carter’s commutation
made Liddy eligible for parole as of July 9, 1977. Liddy was released on
September 7, 1977, after serving a total of four and a half years of
incarceration. After prison
In 1980, Liddy published an autobiography, titled Will, which sold
more than a million copies and was made into a television movie. In it he states
that he once made plans with Hunt to kill journalist Jack Anderson, based on
a literal interpretation of a Nixon White House statement “we need to get
rid of this Anderson guy”. In the mid-1980s Liddy went on the
lecture circuit and was listed as the top speaker in the college circuit in
1982 by The Wall Street Journal. He later joined with LSD proponent Timothy
Leary on a series of debates which were popular on the college circuit as well;
Leary had once been labeled by Liddy’s ex-employer Richard Nixon as “the most
dangerous man in America.” Liddy remained in the public eye with two
guest appearances on the television series Miami Vice as William “Captain
Real Estate” Maynard. Who was a shadowy former covert operations officer that
Sonny Crocket knew from his military service in South Vietnam.
He appeared in the 1993 Golden Book Video release of Encyclopedia Brown: The
Case of the Burgled Baseball Cards as Corky Lodato. In Miami Vice, he acted
with John Diehl, who would later go on to portray Liddy himself in Oliver
Stone’s 1995 movie Nixon. Liddy’s other TV guest credits include Airwolf,
MacGyver and the short-lived The Highwayman. Comic book author Alan Moore
has stated that the character of The Comedian from his graphic novel Watchmen
was based in part on Liddy. In the 1979 TV adaptation of John Dean’s book Blind
Ambition, Liddy was played by actor William Daniels.
In the early 1980s, Liddy joined forces with former Niles, Illinois policeman
and co-owner of The Protection Group, Ltd., Thomas E. Ferraro, Jr., to start
up a private security and countersurveillance firm called, G.
Gordon Liddy & Associates. The firm was not a success, however, and it filed for
bankruptcy on November 12, 1988. In 1992, he emerged to host his own talk
radio show. Less than a year later, its popularity led to national syndication
through Viacom’s Westwood One Network and later on, Radio America, in 2003.
Liddy’s show ended on July 27, 2012. In addition to Will, he wrote the
nonfiction books, When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country, and Fight Back!
Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style, he published two novels: Out of Control and
The Monkey Handlers. His novels did not sell as well as his non-fiction works.
Liddy was one of many people interviewed for the biography of Abbie Hoffman,
Steal this Dream, by Larry “Ratso” Sloman.
Controversial statements August 25, 1986: Liddy’s felony
convictions rendered him unable to legally possess firearms. Despite this,
Liddy founded G. Gordon Liddy & Associates, a private security firm.
When asked how he was able to maintain such a close relationship with guns
despite his status as a convicted felon, Liddy replied, “Mrs. Liddy has an
extensive collection of firearms, some of which she keeps on my side of the
bed.” August 26, 1994: Now if the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms,
resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing
bulletproof vests.” … “They’ve got a big target on there, ATF. Don’t shoot at
that, because they’ve got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head
shots…. Kill the sons of bitches. September 15, 1994: If the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight.
Just remember, they’re wearing flak jackets and you’re better off shooting
for the head. Liddy claimed his detractors omitted
some important context: Acting career
Liddy acted in several films, including Street Asylum, Feds, Adventures in
Spying, Camp Cucamonga, and Rules of Engagement. He appeared on such
television shows as The Highwayman, Airwolf, Fear Factor, Perry Mason, and
MacGyver. He had a recurring role on Miami Vice, and guest starred in Al
Franken’s LateLine. On April 7, 1986, he appeared at WrestleMania II as a guest
judge for a boxing match between Mr. T versus Roddy Piper.
Liddy appeared on a celebrity edition Fear Factor, the show’s series finale,
on September 12, 2006. At 75 years of age, Liddy was the oldest contestant
ever to appear on the show. Liddy beat the competition in the first two stunts,
winning two motorcycles custom built by Metropolitan Chopper. In the final
driving stunt, Liddy crashed and was unable to finish.
He was also an interviewee in the documentary, The U.S. vs. John Lennon as
well as a commercial spokesman for Rosland Capital, selling gold on
television commercials. Personal life
Liddy was married to Frances Purcell-Liddy, a native of Poughkeepsie,
New York, for 53 years until her death on February 5, 2010. She was an
educator. The couple had five children and twelve grandchildren.
References External links
G. Gordon Liddy NNDb profile Liddy on TuneIn

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