E. Howard Hunt, Watergate Figure, Dead At 88
Nixon's Chief of Dirty Tricks Was Ex-CIA; Hand In Everything From Guatemala To Bay of Pigs
E. Howard Hunt, one of the key figures of the historic Watergate scandal, died on Tuesday at the age of 88.
Hunt, a former CIA agent, headed up President Richard Nixon's infamous "White House Plumbers", the group of Cuban exiles who Hunt recruited to break into the the Watergate Hotel back in June 1972, where the offices of the Democratic National Headquarters were located. Their subsequent arrest, with information, such as telephone number and address books, led investigators back to Nixon's Committee To Reelect The President (ironically referred to as CREEP) and kicked off what soon became known as the Watergate Scandal.
In his over 20-years in the CIA, Hunt was involved in operations ranging from the overthrow of governments, to break-ins, to the Bay of Pigs invasion, to breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist over Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers.
As the Watergate Scandal was unfolding, Hunt's wife, Dorothy, was killed in a plane crash in Chicago, with over $10,000 in her purse. While rumors circulated that the crash was related to the Watergate Scandal, investigators ruled it an accident.
Hunt served nearly three-years in prison for his participation in Watergate and remained bitter that Nixon didn't help him and resigned, and President Ronald Reagan refused to pardon him.
Hunt then became a prolific author of, what else, spy novels, publishing over 80 books before becoming overcome with health problems.
In accordances with his wishes, Hunt will be buried in a brown paper bag, and in an unmarked grave.
E. Howard Hunt, 1918-2007; Ex-Spy Crafted Watergate, Other Schemes
The Watergate Story