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Leonard Garment, acting White House Counsel, briefs the media at the White House on President Nixon's statement about the Watergate affair in 1973.

Ex-Nixon Adviser, Leonard Garment, Dies At 89

By Doreen McCallister NPR

Former White House adviser Leonard Garment, who had been ill, died Saturday at his Manhattan home, his wife, Suzanne Garment, told The Associated Press yesterday. He was 89.

Garment and Richard Nixon met while working together at a law firm in 1963. He later went to work in the Nixon White House, and became White House counsel.

As the Watergate scandal unfolded, he urged Nixon not to destroy tapes of conversations that Nixon had made with various officials and staff members in the White House.

When the Watergate scandal broke and the White House recording system came to light, prosecutors demanded to hear the tapes. The recordings played a major role in Nixon resigning the presidency.

Garment left the White House in 1973 before Nixon’s resignation.

An avid musician, he played the clarinet and the saxophone and played with various bands. He was among the founders of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

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