E. Howard Hunt, Agent Who Organized Botched Watergate Break-In, Dies at 88

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E. Howard Hunt, a cold warrior for the Central Intelligence Agency who left the spy service in disillusionment, joined the Nixon White House as a secret agent and bungled the break-in at the Watergate that brought the president down in disgrace, died Tuesday in Miami. He was 88.

His death, at North Shore Medical Center, was caused by pneumonia, said his wife, Laura.

“This fellow Hunt,” President Richard M. Nixon muttered a few days after the June 1972 break-in, “he knows too damn much.”

That was Howard Hunt’s burden: he was entrusted with too many secret missions. His career at the C.I.A. was destroyed by the disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and his time as Nixon’s master of dirty tricks ended with his arrest in the Watergate case. He served 33 months in prison for burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping and emerged a broken man.

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