W. Mark Felt, 95
'Deep Throat' source
Felt had congestive heart failure but the immediate cause of death was not known last night.
"He was an important person for the history of our nation, but also such a gem and such a treasure to our family," said his grandson Nick Jones, who confirmed the death. "He was a great man."
In 2005, more than 30 years after his whistle-blowing helped topple a presidency, Felt held a news conference on the front steps of his home. Felt, then 91, revealed that he was "Deep Throat," the anonymous source who in 1972 leaked information to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about the Watergate scandal that eventually led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.
Felt's role, but not his identity, was depicted in the 1974 book All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein and in a film of the same title released in 1976.
Felt's role is explored in detail in Woodward's 2005 book The Secret Man and in Felt's 2006 autobiography, A G-Man's Life.
Felt, who lived in Alexandria, Va., after his resignation from the FBI in 1973, moved to Santa Rosa in 1991 and lived with his daughter, Joan Felt, until his death.
As associate FBI director, Felt was among the first to learn about the 1972 burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building and to realize its connection to Nixon's re-election campaign.
Days later, Nixon and White House staff members talked about putting pressure on the FBI to slow the investigation. Fearing that the probe would be sabotaged and justice subverted, Felt began giving information to Woodward, a reporter he had known for several years.