Forty years ago this Sunday, police arrested five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, D.C. The ensuing political scandal would ultimately destroy the presidency of Richard Nixon, send 40 people to jail and shatter the American public’s faith in government. Four decades after the arrests, many of Watergate’s key players are still with us. Who are they, and where are they today?
A former CIA officer, McCord was one of the five burglars arrested at the Watergate complex on June 15, 1972. He was convicted on eight counts of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping, spending two months in prison. In March 1973 McCord wrote a letter implicating White House officials in the cover-up. He later published a book about his role in the scandal.
A Cuban refugee, Gonzalez was one of the five burglars arrested at the Watergate complex on June 15, 1972. He spent 13 months in prison. Now 86, he works as a mechanic in Miami.
White House counsel from 1970 to 1973, Dean helped cover up the involvement of Nixon staff members in the Watergate break-in and illegal intelligence-gathering activities. While testifying before the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973, he implicated himself and other administration officials. Dean spent four months in prison and is now an active political commentator. (
G. Gordon Liddy
A former FBI agent, Liddy served as general counsel for the Committee to Re-elect the President, which provided money to the Watergate burglars. He spent four and a half years in prison for arranging the botched burglary and participating in related activities. Liddy went on to become a political commentator, radio host and actor.
A deputy assistant to President Nixon from 1969 to 1973, Butterfield did not participate in the Watergate cover-up but controlled the secret taping system Nixon had installed in the White House. When questioned by the Senate Watergate Committee, he admitted, “Everything was taped as long as the president was in attendance.” Butterfield served as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and ran several companies before retiring in the 1990s.
Jeb Stuart Magruder
An aide to Nixon chief of staff Bob Haldeman, a central figure in the scandal, Magruder admitted to helping plan and conceal the Watergate crimes. After spending seven months in prison, he left politics and became a Presbyterian minister.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
Both young reporters for The Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein together investigated the burglary at the Watergate complex and published articles throughout the scandal. They received information from a source they called “Deep Throat,” later revealed to be FBI agent Mark Felt. Both men continue to work in journalism and have authored numerous books.
The executive editor of The Washington Post from 1965 to 1991, Bradlee oversaw the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Watergate scandal. He continues to serve on The Post’s editorial board.
A former military lawyer, Segretti used various tactics to sabotage Democratic politicians while serving as an operative for the Committee to Re-elect the President. He spent four months in prison for his actions. In 1995 Segretti ran for a Superior Court judgeship in California, but the shadow of Watergate doomed his campaign.
Treasurer of the Committee to Re-elect the President, Sloan resigned from his position after the Watergate burglary and became a source to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He left politics and has served on the boards of several companies.
A Republican senator from Tennessee, Baker acted as vice chairman of the Senate committee that investigated the Watergate scandal. During the hearings, he famously asked, “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Baker went on to serve as White House chief of staff under Reagan and as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
As acting solicitor general in October 1973, Bork presided over the firing of Archibald Cox, the independent special prosecutor who had subpoenaed President Nixon’s taped conversations. Cox’s dismissal became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Bork’s role would contribute to his failed Supreme Court nomination in 1987. He is now a legal advisor to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.