Leonard Garment
White House Counsel
In office
April 30, 1973 – August 9, 1974
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byJohn Dean
Succeeded byPhilip W. Buchen
Personal details
Born(1924-05-11)May 11, 1924
New York City, U.S.
DiedJuly 13, 2013(2013-07-13) (aged 89)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Grace Albert (deceased 1976)
Suzanne Garment
EducationBrooklyn College (BA)
Brooklyn Law School (LLB)

Leonard Garment (May 11, 1924 – July 13, 2013) was an American attorney, public servant, and arts advocate. He served U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the White House in various positions from 1969 to 1976, including Counselor to the President, acting Special Counsel to Nixon for the last two years of his presidency, and U.S. Ambassador to the Third Committee at the United Nations.

Life and career

External videos
video icon Booknotes interview with Garment on Crazy Rhythm, April 20, 1997, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Garment on In Search of Deep Throat, September 28, 2000, C-SPAN
Garment with President Richard Nixon, Donald Rumsfeld, and Roy Wilkins in 1970
Garment with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in 2005

Garment was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York.[1] He had two brothers, Charles and Martin.[2] In 1949, he graduated from Brooklyn Law School[1] and joined the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin, and Todd.[3] He became the head of litigation and a partner in the late fifties.[4] Garment met Richard Nixon when the politician joined the firm in 1963. (Later the firm would be called Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Mitchell.[3]) He assisted with Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. In 1969, Garment became a part of Nixon's White House staff as special consultant to the president. He advised the president and worked on various special projects—particularly in the areas of civil and human rights, Indian affairs, and the arts.

Garment was the author of two books: the autobiography Crazy Rhythm: From Brooklyn and Jazz to Nixon's White House, Watergate, and Beyond, and In Search of Deep Throat: The Greatest Political Mystery of Our Time. Published in 2000, the latter book supported the theory that Deep Throat was John Sears.[5] Before Deep Throat's identity was revealed in 2005 as being former FBI Acting Associate Director W. Mark Felt, Garment himself was a suspect.

Felt was listed as a possible Deep Throat in the book (as are many others), but was dismissed by Garment because the author believed the secret source had to have strong White House connections. He was mistaken in his selection of Sears, who told Garment explicitly that he was not Deep Throat. To prove his argument, Sears admitted that he was an anonymous source for Carl Bernstein, but Garment still did not believe Sears, a longtime friend, was being truthful about not being Deep Throat.

Garment had a long association with the arts, starting with his early career as a jazz saxophonist with Woody Herman's band playing with Alan Greenspan before he entered law school. In the 1970s, he was chairman of the board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More recently, he was one of the founders of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005 as an arts advocate and patron.

Tim Russert credited Leonard Garment with getting him into the news business as Garment had a friend at NBC News who was looking to rebuild their news division. Garment and Russert had previously worked together in 1976 during the U.S. Senate election of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Garment was a close associate of I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, as law partners, at Dechert, Price & Rhoads.

Garment died July 13, 2013, at his Manhattan home, at the age of 89.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Leonard Garment dies at 89". Politico. Associated Press. July 16, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  2. ^ "MARTIN GARMENT Obituary (2014) - Westport, CT - New York Times". www.legacy.com. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  3. ^ a b Frank, Jeffrey (July 18, 2013). "When Leonard Garment Met Richard Nixon". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  4. ^ Warshaw, Shirley Anne (March 27, 2013). Guide to the White House Staff. CQ Press. p. 301. ISBN 9781452234328. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Finn, Robert (April 1, 2001). "In Search of Deep Throat". Book Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  6. ^ "Ex-Nixon adviser Leonard Garment dies in N.Y. at 89". USA Today. July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
Legal offices Preceded byJohn Dean White House Counsel 1973–1974 Succeeded byPhilip W. Buchen