H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, President Nixon's chief of staff, spent 18 months in prison for his role in Watergate. A former advertising executive, Haldeman had gained a stern reputation as the gatekeeper to the Oval Office, dubbing himself "the president's son-of-a-bitch."
From the start, Haldeman played a leading role in the Watergate cover-up. On June 23, 1973, six days after the botched break-in, Haldeman spoke with Nixon about using the CIA to divert the FBI's investigation of the burglars. When the White House released a recording of his June 23, 1972, conversation two years later, it was dubbed "the smoking gun" tape because it showed conclusively that Nixon had orchestrated the cover-up all along. Haldeman was forced to resign, along with John D. Ehrlichman, on April 30, 1973. He was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice the following year. After release from prison, Haldeman wrote "The Ends of Power," a memoir published in 1978. He spent his later years working as a real estate developer in Southern California.
He died of cancer at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Nov. 12, 1993 -- six months before publication of "The Haldeman Diaries," recounting his White House experience. He was 67.
|More Key Players|