Watergate figure Colson said near death

April 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM
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LANSDOWNE, Va., April 18 (UPI) -- Charles Colson, convicted in the Watergate burglary and coverup that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, is close to death, a friend said.

"It is with a heavy, but hopeful heart that I share with you that it appears our friend, brother and founder will soon be home with the Lord," said Jim Liske, chief executive officer of Prison Fellowship, which Colson founded after his release from prison.

Liske said Wednesday Colson's doctors have advised his family to gather at his bedside after Colson's condition "took a decided turn," The Christian Post reported.

Colson, 80, fell ill while delivering a speech March 30 in Lansdowne, Va. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and had surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on his brain, the Post said.

Colson, once described by fellow Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman as "Nixon's hit man," was a special counsel to the president. He pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice in the 1970s and, while serving his prison sentence, became an advocate for prison reform.

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