Henry S. Ruth, Who Helped Lead Watergate Prosecution, Dies at 80


Henry S. Ruth Jr., who helped lead the criminal prosecution of Nixon administration officials involved in covering up the Watergate break-in and kept it on track when President Richard M. Nixon fired the special prosecutor Archibald Cox, died on March 16 in Tucson. He was 80.

The cause was a stroke, his wife, Deborah Mathieu, said.

Mr. Ruth had broad experience in criminal law when he became Mr. Cox’s chief deputy shortly after Mr. Cox’s appointment as special prosecutor in May 1973. Five months later, on Oct. 20, President Nixon ordered Mr. Cox’s dismissal after he refused to drop his plan to subpoena tapes of the president’s conversations in the Oval Office. The firing prompted the two top Justice Department officials, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, to quit in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre....

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