William Mark Felt Sr.

William Mark Felt Sr., a.k.a. “Deep Throat,” served as the informant for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He was born August 17, 1913. Felt was an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and retired as the Bureau’s Associate Director in 1973, the second-ranking post in the FBI. Felt provided information to Bob Woodward that eventually led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974. The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward wrote in 2005 that he met Felt at the White House in 1969 when Woodward was an aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivering papers to the White House Situation Room. In his book, The Secret Man, Woodward described Felt as “a tall man with perfectly combed gray hair … distinguished looking” with “a studied air of confidence, even what might be called a command presence”. They stayed in touch and spoke on the telephone several times. When Woodward started working at the Washington Post, he phoned Felt on several occasions to ask for information for articles in the Post. Felt’s information, taken on a promise that Woodward would never reveal its origin, was a source for a few stories. As portrayed in the movie, All the President’s Men, Felt contacted Woodward by placing a red flag in a flowerpot on the balcony and through the lower corner of page 20 of the New York Times, illustrated with hand-drawn clock hands to show the meeting time. This is completely accurate and how Felt contacted Woodward without drawing attention to himself. “Deep Throat’s” true identity as Mark Felt was revealed in 2005. A background on how Felt received the nickname “Deep Throat” can be found here.

William Mark Felt Sr.

“Deep Throat” as portrayed in All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men shows “Deep Throat” as a mysterious man who lurks in the shadows of a parking garage to meet Bob Woodward and lead him in the right direction towards uncovering the truth of the Watergate Scandal. Woodward and Felt’s meetings shown in the film are historically accurate, including his reluctance to give him any sort of information. “His main function was to corroborate their findings, steering them away from false leads and confirming their true ones. It was Deep Throat who, among other things, told the pair that the burglary was only part of a wide political intelligence network and that former Attorney General John Mitchell knew about it” (Time).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s