Home Latest News Washington Post Watergate editor Barry Sussman dies at 87

Washington Post Watergate editor Barry Sussman dies at 87

Barry Sussman, an editor in chief who oversaw Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s coverage of the Watergate break-in, has died. He was 87.

Though not as well known as the more flamboyant editor-in-chief of the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, Sussman played a vital role in the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the scandal that led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

As the editor of the District of Columbia, Sussman was part of the story from the beginning, when the newspaper learned of a break-in at the Democratic National headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington on June 17, 1972. story, so Sussman assigned Woodward to it. Bernstein later joined in.

“Sussman had the ability to see facts and store them in his memory so that they could be recalled immediately,” wrote Woodward and Bernstein as co-authors of “All the President’s Men” (1974), their account of the Watergate -episode. “More than any other editor at The Post, or Bernstein and Woodward, Sussman became a walking compendium of Watergate knowledge, a reference resource to be called when even the library failed.”

(Original caption) Bob Woodward (left) and Carl Bernstein, Washington Post staff writers who investigated the Watergate case, at their desks in the Post.
Former Washington Post editor Barry Sussman assigned Bob Woodward (left) the Watergate break-in attempt.
Bettmann Archive
Tourists read President Richard Nixon's announcement of his resignation on the Washington Star-News for the White House on August 8, 1974.
Tourists read President Richard Nixon’s announcement of his resignation on the Washington Star-News for the White House on August 8, 1974.
Bettmann Archive
Former Washington Post editor Barry Sussman, who oversaw the onset of the Watergate scandal, died at age 87.
Former Washington Post editor Barry Sussman was 87 years old.
Wikipedia
The Washington Post newspaper headquarters building can be seen on K Street in Washington DC on May 16, 2019.
Reporter Carl Bernstein praised Barry Sussman for being a reliable “reference source” during the investigation of the Watergate break-in.
ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

Bernstein told The New York Times, “We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He was a great editor.”

Sussman’s daughter said her father’s cause of death was unknown.

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