Watergate

The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Prison Fellowship founder and former Nixon aide Chuck Colson was memorialized Wednesday (May 16) at Washington National Cathedral in a service steeped in Scripture and prayers about prison and redemption.

Colson, who died April 21 at the age of 80 after a brief illness, was known as Nixon's "hatchet man" and served seven months in prison on Watergate-related charges. But at the 90-minute service, he was recalled as a transformed "friend of sinners."

“Chuck was not perfect, but he was forgiven,” said the Rev. Timothy George, the homilist and dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.

The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Prison Fellowship founder and Watergate figure Chuck Colson will be buried privately with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery, with a public memorial service expected later at Washington National Cathedral.

Colson, who died Saturday (April 21) at age 80 after a brief illness, served as a captain in the Marines.

Michelle Farmer, a spokeswoman for Prison Fellowship, said Tuesday the family graveside service at the Virginia cemetery will occur “in the coming days.”

Duane Shank 04-24-2012
The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Charles Colson, former aide to President Richard Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship, passed away Saturday at the age of 80. His death came as a result of complications of a brain hemorrhage. 

Many news stories this weekend emphasized Colson’s role in the Watergate scandal of the mid-1970s, in which he led Nixon’s efforts to discredit Daniel Ellsberg following the release of the Pentagon Papers on U.S. decision making during the Vietnam war. As a result of those activities, he pled guilty to obstruction of justice and served seven months in prison. Shortly before going to prison, Colson had a religious conversion to Christianity. And that led to the more important part of his life.

Ray McGovern 03-01-2006
What to do when a president places himself above the law?
Danny Duncan Collum 09-01-2002

I'm reluctant to mouth off about something like the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and all that followed. It makes me feel old.

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