Anthony Russo (whistleblower)

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Tony Russo
Born Anthony J. Russo, Jr.
October 14, 1936
Suffolk, Virginia
Died August 6, 2008(2008-08-06) (aged 71)
Suffolk, Virginia
Education Virginia Tech
Princeton University
Employer RAND Corporation
Known for The Pentagon Papers

Anthony J. "Tony" Russo, Jr. (October 14, 1936 – August 6, 2008) was an American researcher who assisted Daniel Ellsberg, his friend and former colleague at the RAND Corporation, in copying the Pentagon Papers.

Early life[edit]

Russo was born in Suffolk, Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1960, then worked on a NASA space capsule program. He continued his education at Princeton University, earning master's degrees in aeronautical engineering and in public affairs. He began working at the RAND Corporation as a researcher in the late 1960s.

Pentagon Papers and trial[edit]

Russo and Ellsberg would be charged with espionage, theft, and conspiracy.[1] On May 11, 1973, a federal court judge dismissed all charges against them. Judge William M. Byrne, Jr. dismissed the case in May 1973 before it reached a jury, after the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist had been burglarized and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had lost records of what may have been illegally taped telephone conversations. Byrne was also offered the position of FBI director by John Ehrlichman during the trial.[2]


Russo died of natural causes at his home in Suffolk, Virginia on August 6, 2008.

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