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Felt, Watergate 'Deep Throat,' dies at 95

Dec. 19, 2008 at 1:11 AM   |   Comments

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SANTA ROSA, Calif., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Mark Felt, an FBI official who became known as "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal, has died, his family said. Felt, who lived in Santa Rosa, Calif., was 95.

Felt died Thursday, his grandson, Rob Jones, told The New York Times. No cause of death was disclosed.

Felt was the second-ranking official in the FBI when he began helping Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their investigation of the 1972 break-in at a Democratic National Committee office and the subsequent cover-up of the incident that led to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon.

His identity remained a closely held secret until June 2005, when Felt acknowledged he was the source that Woodward and Bernstein had given the nickname "Deep Throat."

The investigation of the Watergate cover-up, which expanded to include nationally televised Senate hearings into a range of alleged abuses by the Nixon White House, led to resignations and prison terms for top Nixon administration officials -- including Attorney General John Mitchell and top White House aides H.R. Haldeman, John Erlichman, John Dean and Charles Colson.

Although the public did not know of Felt's role in the case until 2005, Nixon administration officials believed they knew he was leaking information to the Post as early as October 1972, the Times said, citing tape recorded conversations in the Oval Office.

Felt's motivation as a confidential source remains a mystery, the newspaper said, since he never explained why he did it.

Mark Felt was born Aug. 17, 1913, in Twin Falls, Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho and went to work in Washington for Sen. James Pope, D-Idaho.

He married Audrey Robinson in 1938. She died in 1984.

Felt is survived by a daughter Joan, a son, Mark, and four grandsons.

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