Watergate convict and prison ministry founder Charles Colson dies
Charles Colson, a Richard Nixon White House operative during the Watergate scandal who had a reputation for ruthlessness before going to jail and starting a prison ministry, died on Saturday at age 80, the ministry said.
Colson, who compiled Nixon’s infamous “enemies list” before Watergate brought down the president in 1974, died of complications from a brain hemorrhage after being admitted to a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, on March 31, Prison Fellowship Ministries said in a statement on its website.
He had undergone surgery to remove clotting on his brain, but his condition deteriorated earlier this week.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Chuck Colson – our friend, founder, and brother in Christ – has passed away,” the ministry’s CEO, Jim Liske, said in the statement. “T h ough we mourn the loss of a great leader, we rejoice knowing God has welcomed his humble and faithful servant home.”
Colson served as counsel to the president from 1969 to 1973 and a major part of his job was playing hardball politics to assure Nixon’s re-election in 1972.
“I would walk over my own grandmother if necessary” to get Nixon re-elected, Colson once said.
In 1973, Time magazine said Colson “was probably more disliked, as well as feared, than any other White House aide … If Colson actually performed half the various acts of which he has been accused, he was easily the least principled of all Nixon’s associates.”