Henry Ruth Dies; Criminal-Justice Official, Watergate Prosecutor


Henry S. Ruth Jr., a well-known voice in anticrime policies over the years, died on March 16 at 80. As the New York Times reports, Ruth was better known for helping lead the prosecution of Nixon administration officials involved in covering up the Watergate break-in and kept it on track when President Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Ruth, Cox’s deputy, was credited with holding the office together.

Earlier, Ruth had served as deputy staff director of the crime commission appointed by President Lyndon Johnson. He later worked in the Justice Department’s research arm, then known as National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. He also served as criminal justice coordinator for New York City under Mayor John V. Lindsay. With law professor Kevin Reitz, he co-authored a book, The Challenge of Crime: Rethinking Our Response
(Harvard University Press, 2003).

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