|Leonard Garment - official White House photo|
|14th White House Counsel|
|Preceded by||John Dean|
|Succeeded by||William E. Casselman II|
May 11, 1924 |
Brooklyn, New York
|Spouse(s)||Grace Albert [d. 1976]
|Children||Dr. Ann Rebecca Garment
Sara Elizabeth Garment [1960–2011]
|Alma mater||Brooklyn Law School|
Leonard Garment (born May 11, 1924) is an American politician. He served U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the White House in various positions between 1969 and 1976, including Counselor to the President, acting Special Counsel to Nixon for the last two years of his presidency, and U.S. Ambassador to the Third Committee at the United Nations.
Life and career
Garment was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1949, Garment joined the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin, and Todd. He became the head of litigation and a partner in the late fifties. (Later the firm would be called Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander.) Garment met Richard Nixon when the politician joined the firm in 1963. He assisted with Nixon's campaign from 1966-1967. In 1969, Garment became a part of Nixon's White House staff as special consultant to the president. He advised the president and worked on various special projects—particularly in the areas of civil and human rights, Indian affairs, and the arts.
A noted attorney, he is the author of Crazy Rhythm: From Brooklyn and Jazz to Nixon's White House, Watergate, and Beyond and of In Search of Deep Throat: The Greatest Political Mystery of Our Time. Published in 2000, the latter book supported the theory that Deep Throat was John Sears. Before Deep Throat's identity was revealed in 2005 as being former FBI Acting Associate Director W. Mark Felt, Garment himself was a suspect.
Felt was listed as a possible Deep Throat in the book (as are many others), but was dismissed by Garment because the author believed the secret source had to have strong White House connections. He was mistaken in his selection of Sears, who told Garment explicitly that he was not Deep Throat. To prove his argument, Sears admitted that he was an anonymous source for Carl Bernstein, but Garment still didn't believe Sears, a longtime friend, was being truthful about not being Deep Throat.
Garment has had a long association with the arts, starting with his early career as a jazz saxophonist with Woody Herman's band playing with Alan Greenspan before he entered law school. In the 1970s, he was chairman of the board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More recently, he was one of the founders of the Jazz Museum in Harlem. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005 as an arts advocate and patron. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1949).
Tim Russert credits Leonard Garment with getting him into the news business as Garment had a friend at NBC News who was looking to rebuild their news division. Garment and Russert had previously worked together in 1976 during the U.S. Senate election of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
- Review at Book Reporter
- National Medal of Arts biography (2005)
- The American Enterprise interview, November/December 1998
- Booknotes interview with Garment on Crazy Rhythm, April 20, 1997.
|White House Counsel
William Casselman II