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Rose Mary Woods: Wikis


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Rose Mary Woods

Personal Secretary to the President
In office
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
Appointed by Richard Nixon
Preceded by Gerri Whittington
Succeeded by Dorothy E. Downton

Political party Republican

Rose Mary Woods (December 26, 1917 – January 22, 2005) was Richard Nixon's secretary. From 1951 through the Watergate scandal and until the end of his political career, Woods served as Nixon's secretary. Before H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman became the operators of the presidential campaign, Woods was Nixon's gatekeeper.[1]


Personal life

Rose Mary Woods was born in northeastern Ohio in the small pottery town of Sebring on December 26, 1917. This was part of blue-collar America and as most households were, her family was strongly Democratic. Following graduation from McKinley High School, she went to work for Royal China Inc., the city's largest employer. Woods had been engaged to marry but her fiance died during the war. To escape all the memories of her hometown she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1943, working in a variety of federal offices until she met Nixon while she was a secretary to the Select House Committee on Foreign Aid. Impressed by his neatness and efficiency, she accepted his job offer in 1951. [2]



Woods died on January 22, 2005, at a nursing home ( McCrea Manor ) in Alliance, Ohio.[2]

Nixon testimony

Fiercely loyal to Nixon, Woods claimed responsibility in 1974 grand jury testimony for inadvertently erasing up to 5 minutes of the 18 1/2 minute gap in one of the Nixon audio tapes (specifically, the one from June 20, 1972) that were central to the scandal. Her demonstration of how this might have occurred—which depended upon her stretching to simultaneously press controls several feet apart (what the press dubbed the "Rose Mary Stretch"[3]) was met with skepticism from those who believed the erasures, from whatever source, to be deliberate. Later investigators identified five to nine separate erasures. The contents of the gap remain a mystery.[4]



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