Ken Wade Clawson (1936 - December 18, 1999) was an American journalist and public servant. He served as Deputy Director of Communications for U.S. President Richard Nixon at the time of the Watergate scandal. Prior to his position at the White House, Clawson had been a reporter for The Washington Post.

Education[edit | edit source]

Clawson obtained his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University, and later attended Harvard University in 1967 on a Nieman Fellowship.

Biographical Dates[edit | edit source]

  • Jan 1974-November 4, 1974 - Director of White House Office Communications

The "Canuck letter"[edit | edit source]

Clawson is perhaps best known to most Americans for an incident which occurred during the Watergate scandal. According to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their best-selling book All the President's Men, Clawson bragged about having written the Canuck letter to a friend, Marilyn Berger, who happened to be a Washington Post reporter, whom he had known from his days with the newspaper. Berger passed the information along to Woodward and Bernstein, who were engaged in writing a series of articles in the Post exposing "rat fucking" dirty tricks by the Committee to Re-Elect the President. The Canuck letter was a ploy used to try to disrupt the presidential campaign of Edmund Muskie, who was viewed by many senior Republicans as Nixon's most dangerous potential opponent for the 1972 presidential race. It was successful, and damaged frontrunner Muskie's momentum; he eventually lost the Democratic Party's nomination to George McGovern.

Supposedly, when confronted with the information, Clawson replied that he did not want Berger revealed as the source, saying it would disrupt his marriage; "I have a wife and a family and a dog and a cat." While the authenticity of this part of the story may be doubted, it is used to identify Clawson in American popular culture.

Later years[edit | edit source]

In the 1990s, Clawson was the subject of many articles pointing to him as the possible identity of Deep Throat, Bob Woodward's vital confidential source in the Executive Branch. Woodward's source was conclusively identified in 2005 as being Mark Felt, a high-ranking Federal Bureau of Investigation official. Clawson died at the age of 63 on December 18, 1999, survived by his wife Carol, three living children, his mother and sister, along with six grandchildren.

See also[edit | edit source]


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.