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G. Gordon Liddy

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G. Gordon Liddy

Liddy

Miami Vice Character
Born
November 30, 1930, Brooklyn, New York
Active
1982-present
Spouse/Children
Frances Ann Purcell (1957-2010, her death), five children


George Gordon Battle Liddy (Born November 30, 1930) is an American political operative turned actor, author, and talk radio host. While he appeared in the show Miami Vice as Maynard, Vietnam soldier turned drug distributor and head of a covert private military operation in the episodes "Back in the World" and "Stone's War", his most infamous role came in the Watergate scandal in 1972-73 that brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

Early lifeEdit

Liddy was born in Brooklyn, New York to Sylvester James Liddy and Maria Abbaticchio; his maternal grandfather was of Italian descent. Liddy was raised in Hoboken and West Caldwell, New Jersey. He was named for George Gordon Battle, a New York City attorney and Tammany Hall DA nominee who had mentored Liddy's father. Gordon Liddy spent grades 1 through 3 at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. He was enrolled in the fourth grade at SS. Peter and Paul parochial school. He was enrolled in St. Aloysius parochial school where he entered the sixth grade in September 1941. In 1944 Liddy graduated from St. Aloysius parochial grammar school. In September 1944 Gordon Liddy entered St. Benedict's in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from St. Benedict's in June 1948, at seventeen. He was educated at Fordham University. He graduated in 1952 and joined the United States Army, serving for two years as an artillery officer at the time of the Korean War, but did not leave the US due to a burst appendix. He returned home in 1954 to study law at Fordham, earning a position on the Law Review. Graduating in 1957, he went to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under J. Edgar Hoover, but his work at the agency prompted a supervisor to describe him as "a wild man" and a "superklutz". At age 29, Liddy became the youngest Bureau Supervisor at FBI national headquarters in Washington, D.C., earning multiple commendations from J. Edgar Hoover. He left the FBI in 1962 to practice international law in Manhattan. Liddy worked as a lawyer in New York City and a prosecutor in Dutchess County, New York. In 1966, he organized the arrest and unsuccessful trial of Timothy Leary. As an assistant district attorney, he once fired a pistol into the courtroom ceiling during jury summation. He ran unsuccessfully for the post of District Attorney and then for the United States House of Representatives in 1968, but used his political profile to run the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon in the 28th district of New York.

White House/WatergateEdit

After Nixon was elected president, Liddy was brought into the administration in various minor roles before being moved to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP, a.k.a. CREEP) in 1971 to assist in Nixon's 1972 re-election bid. The so-called "Plumbers" unit (so named because they were to "stop the leaks" of confidential national security information to the press) was tasked to stop leaks to the media, and to harass the Democratic Party. Liddy (working in concert with WH Counsel John Dean) began to come up with multiple schemes (some legit, some very far-fetched) to do just that, including firebombing the left-leaning think tank Brookings Institute, using prostitutes to lure Democratic staffers to a boat during the 1972 Democratic Convention (in Miami), using blackmail (taking pictures of the staffers in various compromising positions), and to break into Daniel Ellsberg's (who leaked the Pentagon Papers) psychiatrist's office to locating damaging personal info on him. Attorney General John Mitchell rejected most of the ideas outright, except for the Ellsberg break-in, which was carried out with Nixon aide John Erlichman's written consent by Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, and four Miami Cubanos. During a meeting with the CRP higher-ups in Key Biscayne, Liddy's "Gemstone" plan to bug the DNC headquarters in the Watergate hotel was approved by Mitchell (a fact fiercely disputed by Mitchell until his 1988 death but confirmed by others at the meeting).

On June 16, 1972, the break-in plan was executed, but was stopped by Washington D.C. police who found the same Cubanos who broke into Ellsberg's office and James McCord, security chief of CRP. Liddy supervised (along with Hunt) the operation, and when the seven men were tried, Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wiretapping. District Judge "Maximum" John Sirica sentenced Liddy to 20 years imprisonment, but his sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 "in the interest of equity and fairness based on a comparison of Mr. Liddy's sentence with those of all others convicted in Watergate related prosecutions", and was paroled four months after Carter commuted Liddy's sentence. At 4 1/2 years, Liddy served the longest prison term of anyone convicted in the entire Watergate scandal.

WillEdit

In 1980, Liddy released his auto-biography, Will, which was made into a TV movie in 1982. In the book he describes an incident where, during a discussion in a CRP meeting about "taking care of columnist Jack Anderson", Liddy planned to kill him. He was listed by The Wall Street Journal as the top college speaker in the country during the early 1980s, later teaming with his old adversary Timothy Leary in a series of debates.

Miami ViceEdit

In 1985, Liddy was cast as William Maynard, Vietnam-era friend of Ira Stone and Crockett in "Back in the World". Maynard had run heroin out of 'Nam during the Fall of Saigon in body bags to sell later, but due to the wood alcohol used in preserving bodies the heroin had begun to deteriorate and he was distributing it, with deadly results. He was found by Crockett in Miami, but he escaped, only to return in the sequel "Stone's War", this time Maynard and a group of business owners were funding private "soldiers of fortune" in Nicaragua fighting for the Contras. Stone had captured video proof of this, and was chased by Maynard's men. They finally caught up to Stone, who was killed in a crossfire between Maynard's men and Crockett and Tubbs. Maynard escaped to Nicaragua to fight in the war there. Maynard was a tough adversary for Crockett, who could out-think Crockett (in one case bringing a tape analyzer to determine Stone's copy of the video was NOT the original) and escaped being killed. Liddy appeared with John Diehl, who would later go on to portray Liddy in 1995's Nixon.

After ViceEdit

Liddy wrote two other non-fiction books: When I Was A Kid, This Was A Free Country and Fight Back! Tackle Terrorism, Liddy Style. He appeared sporadically as guest stars on TV shows such as MacGyver and a recurring role on 18 Wheels of Justice. In 1986 he was a guest judge in a boxing match between "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Mr. T in the WWE's Wrestlemania 2. In 1992 he began hosting a conservative radio talk show called The G. Gordon Liddy Show, which aired for 20 years until Liddy retired from the airwaves in 2012 (in its' earlier days Liddy used the Miami Vice Theme as the intro song). His show was seen as controversial due to his views on the ATF among others, but is regularly in demand as a speaker.

Personal lifeEdit

Liddy married Frances Purcell in 1957 (who he called Mrs. Liddy) and remained married until her death in February, 2010. They have five children, three sons & two daughters. Four of his children served in the military as officers.

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