Watergate figure John Mitchell was a Jamaica man 1

The childhood home of Richard Nixon’s attorney general John N. Mitchell, at 90-22 179 St. in Jamaica, as it looked in the 1930.

John Newton Mitchell was born in Detroit on Sept. 16, 1913, the third of Joseph and Margaret Mitchell’s four children. The family bought a home at 90-22 179 St. in Jamaica around 1920.

John attended and graduated Jamaica High School. He went on to Fordham Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1938.

In April 1941 he married Elizabeth Catherine Shine and they bought a home at 191-03 116 Ave. in St. Albans. She bore him a son, John Jr., and a daughter, Jill. He had a reputation as a successful municipal bond lawyer. He was so good he became bond council to Gov. Rockefeller. However, the marriage was not a happy one and they divorced in 1956. In December 1957, Mitchell married Martha Beall, who described him as a suave, intellectual man.

In 1966, Richard Nixon, then a private citizen, merged his law firm with Mitchell’s. Upon winning the presidency in 1968, Nixon appointed him attorney general of the U.S. He then resigned to head the Committee to Re-elect the President. In June 1972, after the Watergate break-in, his wife called reporter Helen Thomas and became a distraction to Mitchell, making the situation blow up and get worse. He eventually was convicted and disbarred from practicing law for his approval of electronic surveillance of telephones as part of the scandal. He served 19 months in federal prison.

On Nov. 9, 1988 Mitchell collapsed in the street and died of a heart attack at age 75.

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