Facts about Gordon Liddy

G. Gordon Liddy died at 90 years old
Died: March 30, 2021
Best known as: The nutty leader of the Watergate burglars


G. Gordon Liddy Biography

Name at birth: George Gordon Battle Liddy

G. Gordon Liddy led the team of political 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.

A former F.B.I. agent (1957-62), G. Gordon Liddy landed a job in the Nixon administration after working in New York on Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. First assigned to the U.S. 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).

Liddy 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. (He was played by actor Robert Conrad in a 1982 TV movie based on the book.)

Liddy clawed his way back into the public eye, hosting his own radio talk show from 1992 to 2012; at its peak, according to The Washington Post, the show was carried by more than 270 stations across the country and “found a wide following for his brand of macho wit.” He published two novels and other non-fiction books and occasionally popped up on TV, either spouting off about politics or appearing on reality shows (such as on Fear Factor in 2006).

G. Gordon Liddy died in 2021 at age 90. His family did not announce a cause of death, but did specify that it was not due to Covid-19.

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… G. Gordon Liddy famously liked to test his mettle by holding his hand and wrist over a flame until his flesh burned… G. Gordon Liddy had a long-standing feud with John Dean, the Nixon lawyer whose testimony lit a fire under the investigation; they called each other liars and each blamed the other for the Watergate break-in… G. Gordon Liddy married the former Frances Purcell in 1957; they were married until her death in 2010. They had five children.


Related Biographies

Something in Common with G. Gordon Liddy