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Passings | Douglas C. Wilson

Reporter got Nixon scoop

May 12, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Douglas C. Wilson, 67, the reporter who broke the story that President Nixon would resign, died May 5 at his home in Amherst, Mass., the Providence Journal reported.

Wilson was the Journal's bureau chief on Aug. 7, 1974, and was writing a story on how the president was handling the stress of the Watergate scandal, which had broken more than two years earlier.

According to the Journal's obituary, Wilson called Baruch Korff, a rabbi from Rhode Island who was a Nixon confidant, for comment.

Korff suggested a meeting with Wilson and told the reporter of the president's decision to step down.

Wilson called his paper, and the scoop made that day's edition of the evening Journal. Nixon resigned the next day.

For his historic story, Wilson received the Merriman Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents Assn.

Born in Providence, Wilson grew up in Bloomington, Ind., before graduating from Amherst College. He earned a master's degree in international studies from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

He worked for the Journal for 13 years before returning to Amherst, where he served as media spokesman and editor of the alumni magazine. He retired in 2003.

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