Earl Landgrebe

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Earl Landgrebe
Earl Landgrebe (92nd Congress).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1975
Preceded by Charles A. Halleck
Succeeded by Floyd Fithian
Member of the Indiana Senate
In office
Personal details
Born Earl Fredrick Landgrebe
January 21, 1916
Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S.
Died July 1, 1986(1986-07-01) (aged 70)
Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Occupation Transportation entrepreneur

Earl Fredrick Landgrebe (January 21, 1916 – July 1, 1986) was a politician and businessman. He served as an Indiana state senator and United States representative for the 2nd district. Langrebe was from Valparaiso in Porter County, Indiana. He is remembered unfavorably for his famous line at the Watergate hearings: "Don’t confuse me with the facts."[1] Landgrebe stuck with Richard Nixon until the bitter end.

Landgrebe was born in Valparaiso, Indiana in 1916, the son of Edward William Landgrebe and Benna Marie Landgrebe (née Broderman). He attended Wheeler High School near Valparaiso. He married Helen Lucille Field on July 12, 1936. He was elected to the state senate of Indiana in 1959 as a Republican and served there until 1968. In that year, he was elected to represent Indiana's 2nd district in the House of Representatives.

On August 5, 1974, Richard Nixon released certain documents revealing his orders to aides to hinder the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation of the Watergate break-in. When Landgrebe was asked on August 7 about the apparently unanimous support for impeachment of Nixon among his Republican colleagues following this disclosure, he said: "I'm going to stick with my President even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot." The next day, Richard Nixon announced his resignation. A few months later, Landgrebe was shown the door by his constituents. His re-election bid was derailed by Democrat Floyd Fithian.

After his defeat, Earl Landgrebe returned to his home in Valparaiso where he owned and managed Landgrebe Motor Transport Inc., a common carrier and freight hauling company. In February 1980, the Machinist Union was on strike at the Union Rolls Corporation in Valparaiso, Indiana. The former congressman personally confronted picketers with a tractor trailer. On February 13 he completed two trips into the Union Rolls plant to pick up and haul away merchandise. Both times, the Union unsuccessfully tried to prevent his entrance into the plant. On a third trip later that day, he was not so fortunate. Union members surrounded the truck. They swung clubs and broke mirrors and shattered glass. Landgrebe was showered with broken glass. A local sheriff broke up the incident.[2]

On July 1, 1986 he died at home of a heart attack. He was 70 years old.[3]


  1. ^ The exact quotation was: "Don't confuse me with the facts. I've got a closed mind." The reference was first published in 1977. Wallenchinsky, David; Amy Wallace (2005). The New Book of Lists: The Original Compendium of Curious Information. Canongate. p. 219. 
  2. ^ "Landgrebe Motor Transport, Inc. and Earl F. Landgrebe v. District 72 International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers". 
  3. ^ "Obituary: Earl F. Landgrebe". The New York Times. July 1, 1986. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles A. Halleck
U.S. Representative of Indiana's 2nd Congressional District
Succeeded by
Floyd Fithian