Deep Throat - Identity

Identity

Deep Throat was first introduced to the public in the 1974 book All the President's Men, written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film two years later. According to the authors, Deep Throat was a key source of information behind a series of articles on a scandal which played a leading role in introducing the misdeeds of the Nixon administration to the general public. The scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of President Nixon as well as prison terms for White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, Egil Krogh, White House Counsel Charles Colson and John Dean, and presidential adviser John Ehrlichman.

Howard Simons, the managing editor of the Post during Watergate, dubbed the secret informant "Deep Throat" as an allusion to the notorious pornographic movie which was a cause of controversy at the time.

For more than 30 years, the identity of Deep Throat was one of the biggest mysteries of American politics and journalism and the source of much public curiosity and speculation. Woodward and Bernstein insisted they would not reveal his identity until he died or consented to have his identity revealed.

On May 31, 2005, Vanity Fair magazine revealed that William Mark Felt, Sr. was Deep Throat, when it published an article (eventually appearing in the July issue) on its website by John D. O'Connor, an attorney acting on Felt's behalf, in which Felt reportedly said, "I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat." After the Vanity Fair story broke, Woodward, Bernstein, and Benjamin C. Bradlee, the Post's executive editor during Watergate, confirmed Felt's claim to be Deep Throat. L. Patrick Gray, former acting Director of the FBI and Felt's boss, disputes Felt's claim to be the sole source in Gray's book, In Nixon's Web, written with his son Ed Gray. Instead, Gray and others have continued to argue that Deep Throat was a compilation of sources combined into one character in order to improve sales of the book and movie. Woodward and Bernstein, however, defended Felt's claims and detailed their relationship with Felt in Woodward's book The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat.

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