A conversation with Joan Felt

  • Joan Felt, daughter of Mark Felt, who was also known as "Deep Throat", second from left, is seen with her sons from left, Nick Jones, Will Felt, and Rob Jones as they answer questions from a reporter Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Mark Felt, the former FBI second-in-command who revealed himself as 'Deep Throat' 30 years after he tipped off reporters to the Watergate scandal that toppled the Nixon presidency, died Thursday Dec. 18, 2008. He was 95. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

When Joan Felt opened the front door to her father?s Santa Rosa home on May 31, 2005 she unveiled a secret her father had kept for 33 years.

Aged, hunched and with fading memory, Mark Felt confirmed through Joan that he was ?Deep Throat,? source of the Washington Post?s historic investigation of the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon?s resignation in 1974.

The announcement changed her father?s life, Joan said.

?Finally he could put the question to rest as to whether or not he did the right thing,? she said this week in an interview with The Press Democrat.

But the revelation did not come easily for Felt, who up until the night before going public, expressed concern that Deep Throat might just be a secret better kept than exposed.

Still, when the door opened, Felt waved and greeted the throng of reporters anxious to hear the story from the source himself.

The fame turned out to be longer lived than Felt or his family imagined. Despite failing healthy and several serious bouts of illness, Felt lived for three years after the revelation. He died Dec 18, 2008 at his home, surrounded by family.

A memorial service will be held today at 3 p.m. at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa.

Reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will be there to speak about Felt, their key source and the man who helped the famed reporters navigate the biggest story of their careers and a key chapter of American history.

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