Jeb Stuart Magruder
American author, businessman, civil servant
Jeb Stuart Magruder
Jeb Stuart Magruder is an American businessman, author, Presbyterian minister, and former civil servant. A junior staffer with Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President, he pled guilty to conspiracy and served time in a federal prison as a result of his participation in the Watergate affair. His accounts of Richard Nixon's involvement in that affair have changed and contradicted themselves several times over the years. He is also a published writer.
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DOJ Mulls Response to Request for Watergate Wiretap Records
The Blog of Legal Times - almost 5 years
A historian of the Richard Nixon presidency wants to review sealed wiretap materials stemming from the 1972 burglary at the Watergate hotel and subsequent criminal prosecutions. In a pending case in Washington's federal trial court, the U.S. Justice Department on May 3 said "the request for the content of illegally obtained wiretaps poses an unusual legal issue that the department intends to address in its response." Justice Department lawyer Elizabeth Shapiro asked Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for two more weeks to respond to the request from Luke Nichter, an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University. The earlier deadline was May 5. “These and other sealed materials may be the key to determining why the Watergate break-in occurred, who ordered it, and what the burglars were looking [for],” Nichter, who specializes in American political history, wrote in a letter (PDF) to Lamberth in 2010. Nichter is researchi ...
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The Blog of Legal Times article
Clay T. Whitehead, Guide of Policy That Helped Cable TV, Is Dead at 69
NYTimes - over 8 years
Clay T. Whitehead, the official in the Nixon administration who laid the groundwork for Open Skies, the policy that led to the creation of the domestic satellite system that brought cable television and lower-cost long-distance telephone service into millions of American homes, died in Washington on July 23. He was 69 and lived in McLean, Va. The
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NYTimes article
NATIONAL BRIEFING | MIDWEST; Ohio: Jeb Magruder Pleads Guilty In Crashes
NYTimes - about 9 years
Jeb Stuart Magruder, left, a Watergate conspirator, pleaded guilty to a traffic charge stemming from two crashes last summer in Columbus that happened as he had a stroke while at the wheel. Mr. Magruder had been charged with failing to maintain proper distance and leaving the scene of an accident, but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless
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The Devil Sells Prada
NYTimes - over 9 years
THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS 50 Years Reporting in Washington. By Robert D. Novak. Illustrated. 662 pp. Crown Forum. $29.95. In this sprawling memoir, the journalist Robert D. Novak feeds his keyboard more than five decades of newspaper clips, expense account filings and graying memory to chronicle his career as political reporter, syndicated columnist,
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NYTimes article
The Man in the Mask
NYTimes - over 13 years
NIXON'S SHADOW The History of an Image. By David Greenberg. Illustrated. 460 pp. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. $26.95. RICHARD NIXON died on April 22, 1994, 17 days after Kurt Cobain, and America has been a more boring country ever since. Now that he's officially history, how are scholars to reckon with our 37th president? Was he an
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NYTimes article
The Runyonland Express Is Back in Town
NYTimes - almost 25 years
Damon Runyon is back on Broadway, and it's about time; also a good reason to dust off his bones and see how he has weathered the last half-century. "Guys and Dolls," which I am offering six-to-five is the best musical ever created -- bet me -- opens Tuesday at the Martin Beck Theater, directed by the three-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks, a very
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ESSAY; Watch What We Do
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: ''Watch what we do, not what we say,'' Attorney General John Mitchell advised reporters at the start of the Nixon Administration. ''Watch what we do, not what we say,'' Attorney General John Mitchell advised reporters at the start of the Nixon Administration. Coming from the law-and-order campaign manager with the visage of a bloodhound, that
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NYTimes article
John N. Mitchell Dies at 75; Major Figure in Watergate
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: John N. Mitchell, President Nixon's Attorney General who was jailed for his role in the Watergate scandals, died this evening at George Washington University Hospital after suffering a heart attack on a sidewalk in Georgetown. He was 75 years old. John N. Mitchell, President Nixon's Attorney General who was jailed for his role in the
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NYTimes article
Watergate Figure Leads Ethics Panel
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: Jeb Stuart Magruder, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice in a Watergate case and spent seven months in prison for his crimes, is now heading a commission on ethics and values in the capital of Ohio. Jeb Stuart Magruder, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice in a Watergate case and spent seven months in prison
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - almost 29 years
LEAD: INTERNATIONAL A3-12 In elections in El Salvador, the ruling Christian Democratic Party appeared to have suffered a major defeat, according to Christian Democratic Party officials, diplomatic observers and other unofficial party observers. Page A1 INTERNATIONAL A3-12 In elections in El Salvador, the ruling Christian Democratic Party appeared
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NYTimes - almost 30 years
LEAD: A baseball cap inscribed with the letter ''O'' lay on a table draped in purple at the altar of the First Community Church. An American flag was neatly folded behind it. They were framed by two white candles, burning slowly as former President Richard Nixon eulogized his friend Wayne Woodrow Hayes, better known during his tumultuous football
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jeb Stuart Magruder
  • 2014
    Age 79
    Magruder died in Danbury, Connecticut at age 79 on May 11, 2014 due to complications from a stroke.
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  • 2008
    Age 73
    Magruder pleaded guilty in January 2008 to a charge of reckless operation stemming from the crashes with two vehicles in July.
    More Details Hide Details His license was suspended and he was fined $300.
  • 2007
    Age 72
    On July 23, 2007, Magruder was hospitalized after crashing his car into a motorcycle and a truck on State Route 315 in Columbus.
    More Details Hide Details It was later reported that Magruder had suffered a stroke while driving. He was charged with failure to maintain an assured clear distance and failure to stop after an accident or collision.
  • 2003
    Age 68
    In 2003, Magruder changed his account again, saying that President Nixon had telephoned Mitchell at the Key Biscayne meeting.
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    During the 2003 interviews, Magruder said that he had attended a meeting with Mitchell on March 30, 1972, at which he heard Nixon tell Mitchell by telephone to begin the Watergate plan.
    More Details Hide Details This account, however, has been contested by Fred LaRue. LaRue, who was the only other person present at the meeting in which the alleged telephone call from Nixon to Mitchell occurred, has said that no telephone call from Nixon to Mitchell took place during this meeting. Magruder was the only direct participant of the scandal to claim that President Nixon had specific prior knowledge of the Watergate burglary, and that Nixon directed Mitchell to proceed with the burglary. These statements contradicted Magruder's earlier accounts that the cover-up had reached no higher in the Administration than Mitchell. In his 1974 book, Magruder had said that the only telephone call from the White House during this meeting came from H.R. Haldeman's aide, Gordon C. Strachan. Sixteen years later, in the August 7, 1990 interview with Colodny and Gettlin, Magruder changed his account, claiming that the telephone call from the White House came from Haldeman himself.
    In 2003 Magruder was interviewed again, by PBS researchers and the Associated Press.
    More Details Hide Details According to his account in a PBS documentary, Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History, and in an interview with the Associated Press, he asserted that Nixon knew about the Watergate burglary early in the process, and well before the scandal broke.
  • 1995
    Age 60
    In 1995, Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones reinstated Magruder's right to campaign for public office in the state.
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  • 1990
    Age 55
    In 1990 Magruder consented to interviews with authors Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin while the two were conducting research for their 1991 book Silent Coup: The Removal of a President (St. Martin's Press).
    More Details Hide Details Magruder admitted that he had lied to prosecutors, to the Senate's Watergate Committee, and in his 1974 book An American Life: One Man's Road to Watergate, concerning aspects of the early cover-up. To Colodny and Gettlin, he said that he had called John Dean several hours after the (second) Watergate break-in was discovered, and that Dean set in motion several cover-up strategies. This version of events tallied closely with that of Gordon Liddy, as set out in his 1980 book Will. Books published earlier by others, however, such as Magruder's in 1974 and Dean's Blind Ambition (1976), had become the accepted 'truth' of the cover-up. These versions had very profound and damaging effects on the reputations of senior figures such as H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John N. Mitchell. To Colodny and Gettlin, Magruder admitted specifically instructing Liddy on the second Watergate break-in, something which he had earlier denied. At the time these interviews were conducted, Magruder was a Presbyterian minister in Columbus, Ohio.
    In 1990 Magruder was called as senior pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Lexington, Kentucky.
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  • 1987
    Age 52
    Magruder married Patricia Newton on February 28, 1987, in Columbus, Ohio. They were divorced in May 2003.
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  • 1983
    Age 48
    He served as associate minister at the First Presbyterian Church in Burlingame, California and First Community Church of Columbus, Ohio. (While there, Magruder chaired that city's Commission on Ethics and Values for a time.) In May 1983, President Ronald Reagan turned down a request from Magruder for a presidential pardon.
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  • 1981
    Age 46
    He went to graduate school, earning a Master of Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1981, and becoming ordained as a Presbyterian minister.
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  • 1976
    Age 41
    After the Watergate scandal, Magruder left politics and business. He wrote about his passage, publishing From Power to Peace in 1976, about his deepening Christian faith after the scandal.
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  • 1974
    Age 39
    On May 21, 1974, Magruder was sentenced by Judge John Sirica to ten months to four years for his role in the failed burglary of Watergate and the following cover-up.
    More Details Hide Details After his sentencing, Magruder said, "I am confident that this country will survive its Watergates and its Jeb Magruders." In the end, he served seven months of his sentence (in a Federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania). Magruder originally testified that he knew nothing to indicate that President Nixon had any prior knowledge of the Watergate burglary. In his book, An American Life: One Man's Road to Watergate (1974), he wrote, I know nothing to indicate that Nixon was aware in advance of the plan to break into the Democratic headquarters. It is possible that Mitchell or Haldeman told him in advance, but I think it's likelier that they would not have mentioned it unless the operation had produced some results of interest to him. This book was published before Magruder's sentencing on May 21, and before Nixon resigned as the President.
    In 1974 he published an account of the Watergate affair.
    More Details Hide Details In prison Magruder reconnected with his faith; afterward he attended divinity school and became ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He was called to serve in several parishes, including as chief minister in a Lexington, Kentucky church. During these years, Magruder also spoke publicly about ethics and his role in the Watergate scandal. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he gave interviews in which he changed his accounts of actions by various participants in the Watergate coverup; some of his assertions have been challenged. Jeb Stuart Magruder was born and grew up on Staten Island, New York, where he was an honor student at Curtis High School. Magruder was an excellent junior tennis player and swimmer, among the best in the greater New York area.
  • 1973
    Age 38
    In exchange, Magruder was allowed to plead guilty in August 1973 to a one-count indictment of conspiracy to obstruct justice, to defraud the United States, and to illegally eavesdrop on the Democratic Party's national headquarters at the Watergate Hotel.
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    During April 1973, Magruder began cooperating with federal prosecutors.
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  • 1972
    Age 37
    Magruder met with White House Counsel John Dean and John N. Mitchell (Attorney General of the United States and Director of CREEP) on January 27 and February 4, 1972, to review preliminary plans by G.
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    Magruder worked as Inaugural Director from October 1972 to arrange Richard Nixon's United States presidential inauguration ceremony and celebration in January 1973.
    More Details Hide Details In March 1973, he began a job as Director of Policy Planning with the United States Department of Commerce. He resigned soon afterward, as the Watergate scandal began to heat up and become scrutinized again by media following James McCord's disclosures of perjury during the original Watergate trial of the five burglars; the former Watergate burglar wrote about this to the Washington Star. Magruder, in his role with CREEP, became involved with the Watergate matters from an early stage, in many aspects of the planning, execution, and cover-up.
    By early 1972 in the election year, Attorney General John N. Mitchell took over as director of CREEP and Magruder acted as his deputy.
    More Details Hide Details As Mitchell became preoccupied with a scandal involving the ITT Corporation and by the illness of his wife Martha, Magruder took on more of the management of the CREEP. The campaign to re-elect the President was extraordinarily successful, winning 49 of 50 states; Nixon lost only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia to Democrat George McGovern. The final tally of Nixon's victory was 520 to 17 electoral votes, the second largest Electoral College (United States) margin in history up until then, after Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 victory over Alf Landon, (523 to 8).
    He served Nixon in various capacities, including helping manage the president's highly successful 1972 re-election campaign.
    More Details Hide Details During that time, Magruder became involved in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. As a Deputy Director of Richard Nixon's Committee for the Re-Election of the President, Magruder pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served time in a federal prison for his actions. Magruder was the second official in the administration of President Richard Nixon to plead guilty to charges of burglarizing the Watergate complex.
  • 1971
    Age 36
    From the day they met in December 1971, Magruder and Liddy (who had been hired by Mitchell and Dean) had a conflicted personal relationship.
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    Magruder served in the White House until the spring of 1971, when he left to manage the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP, also known as CREEP), first as Director.
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  • 1969
    Age 34
    Magruder, while working in Los Angeles as a business executive, was approached through Republican acquaintances and asked to interview to join the White House staff. He was appointed to the White House staff in 1969 at age 34, as Special Assistant to the President.
    More Details Hide Details Like some other private sector executives, he took a pay cut to join public service. He moved with his family to Washington, D.C. He worked for Nixon operatives H.R. Haldeman and Herbert G. Klein, Communications Director for the Executive Branch. Magruder's formal title was Deputy Director of White House Communications.
    Magruder entered partnership during early 1969 with two other entrepreneurs to start two new businesses, and became president and chief executive officer of these firms.
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  • 1968
    Age 33
    He left early in 1968 due to internal organizational problems.
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  • 1967
    Age 32
    Magruder's next political involvement started in mid-1967, when he served as Southern California coordinator for the Richard Nixon presidential campaign.
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  • 1966
    Age 31
    He relocated to California in mid-1966, to begin a higher level job with the Broadway Stores company.
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    He worked briefly as campaign manager for Richard Ogilvie's 1966 campaign for president of the Cook County Board of Supervisors.
    More Details Hide Details The political workload, combined with work pressures, caused Magruder to end employment with Jewel.
  • 1963
    Age 28
    Magruder became involved with the Illinois organization of the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign in late 1963, but became disillusioned with Goldwater's political views.
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  • 1962
    Age 27
    In 1962 Magruder moved from Booz Allen Hamilton to Jewel, a regional grocery firm.
    More Details Hide Details During his nearly four years with them, he was promoted to merchandise manager.
    Magruder moved to Chicago for his MBA studies. Afterward he shifted from IBM to the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. In Chicago he remained involved with the Republican Party. His first major political job was managing the successful 1962 primary campaign of Donald Rumsfeld for the Republican nomination to the United States House of Representatives, preparing for the election in Illinois' 13th congressional district.
    More Details Hide Details Rumsfeld won the primary and the seat in Congress, in a major upset in a ward traditionally dominated by Democrats and unions.
  • 1960
    Age 25
    He became involved there as a campaign manager for the Republican Party during the 1960 election campaign, working as chairman of an urban ward.
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  • 1959
    Age 24
    He married Gail Nicholas on October 17, 1959, in Los Angeles. The couple has four children. They were divorced in 1986.
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  • 1958
    Age 23
    He was educated at Williams College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1958.
    More Details Hide Details He represented Williams on the varsity swimming team and set several regional records. Magruder served with the U.S. Army for 21 months, and was stationed in South Korea as a private first class. He served during an intermission from his studies at Williams College. After he began his business career, he returned to graduate school, earning a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago. Magruder worked for IBM after college, and has said he did not enjoy it. He moved to San Francisco, to take a position with the Crown Zellerbach firm, where he worked in its sales and marketing department. Later he started his own consumer products company.
  • 1934
    Born on November 5, 1934.
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