"Bob" Haldeman, a former advertising executive, became President Richard M. Nixon's White House Chief of Staff in 1969, and was soon considered to be the second most powerful man in the United States. Haldeman had a stern reputation as Nixon's gatekeeper.
He was both good friends and a close accomplice of fellow White House staffer and presidential adviser on domestic affairs, John Ehrlichman (1925-1999). Together, the duo known as "the Germans" were two of Nixon's most loyal and trusted aides during his presidency.
He was a key figure in the Watergate scandal that forced him to resign on April 30, 1973. Haldeman was subsequently convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice on February 21, 1975 and served 18 months in prison.
The controversial gap in Nixon's Oval Office recordings included a conversation between the president and Haldeman.
In 1978, he published "The Ends of Power and "The Haldeman Diaries" was published by his wife in 1994 after his death. In reality, Haldeman was a businessman who had a wide range of interests outside of politics. He was especially interested in young people and held a number of positions in the field of education such as: President of the UCLA Alumni Association and Regent of the University of California. At the request of the Disney family,Haldeman was the first Chairman of the California Institute of the Arts.
Haldeman died of abdominal cancer on November 12, 1993 at his home in Santa Barbara, California. He was survived by his wife of forty-four years, Jo Horton ,and their four children Peter, Hank, Susan and Ann.
"Bob" Haldeman was known for being a loving husband, father and grandfather in contrast to his public persona and the circumstances of his downfall.