The Info List - John Sirica

John Joseph Sirica (March 19, 1904 – August 14, 1992) was the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where he became famous for his role in the trials stemming from the Watergate scandal. He rose to national prominence during the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
when he ordered President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
to turn over his recordings of White House
White House
conversations. Sirica's involvement in the case began when he presided over the trial of the Watergate burglars. He did not believe the claim that they had acted alone, and through the use of provisional sentencing, strongly encouraged them to give information about higher-ups before final sentencing. One defendant, James W. McCord, Jr., wrote a letter describing a broader scheme of involvement by people in the Nixon administration. For his role in uncovering the truth about Watergate, Sirica was named TIME magazine's Man of the Year in January 1974.


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Death 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

Early life[edit]

Watergate scandal

Watergate complex



Presidency of Richard Nixon Timeline Nixon White House
White House
tapes Operation Sandwedge Operation Gemstone 1972 U.S. presidential election "Saturday Night Massacre" " White House
White House
horrors" United States v. Nixon Resignation speech Inauguration of Gerald Ford


Watergate burglars

Bernard Barker Virgilio Gonzalez Eugenio Martínez James W. McCord Jr. Frank Sturgis


Master list of Nixon's political opponents Nixon's Enemies List Watergate Babies Watergate Seven White House
White House


Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP)

Fred LaRue Jeb Stuart Magruder Robert Mardian John N. Mitchell Kenneth Parkinson Hugh W. Sloan Jr. Maurice Stans

White House

President Richard Nixon Alexander Butterfield Charles Colson John Dean John Ehrlichman Gerald Ford H. R. Haldeman E. Howard Hunt Egil Krogh G. Gordon Liddy Gordon C. Strachan Rose Mary Woods


Archibald Cox Leon Jaworski John Sirica


Carl Bernstein Bob Woodward Ben Bradlee Howard Simons Lesley Stahl The Washington Post

Intelligence community

Mark Felt
Mark Felt
("Deep Throat") L. Patrick Gray Richard Helms James R. Schlesinger


Howard Baker Sam Ervin Peter W. Rodino U.S. Senate Watergate Committee Impeachment process


Frank Wills (security guard) James F. Neal
James F. Neal
(prosecutor) All the President's Men
All the President's Men
(book, film) The Final Days (book, film) Dick (film)

v t e

John Sirica
John Sirica
was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Ferdinando (Fred) Sirica, an immigrant from Italy, and Rose (Zinno) Sirica, whose parents were from Italy. He moved to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
in 1918, where he attended Emerson Preparatory School
Emerson Preparatory School
and eventually transferred to Columbia Preparatory School.[1] He went directly from high school to law school, which was possible in the District of Columbia at the time, and, after two false starts, entered Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Law Center and received his J.D. in 1926.[2] Between 1910 and 1918, the Sirica family lived in various cities across the United States where Fred worked as a barber and tried his hand, unsuccessfully, at a number of small business operations. In 1922, Fred was running a two-lane bowling alley and poolhall which was raided by the police for violation of the Prohibition-era Volstead Act when liquor was found in the restroom. Fred was arrested but the charges were dropped. He soon sold the business and moved away.[3] Career[edit] John Sirica
John Sirica
fought as a boxer in Washington and Miami in the 1920s and 1930s. He was torn between a career as a fighter and the career in law that he followed after earning a law degree and passing the bar. Boxing champion Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
became a close friend.[4] Sirica was in private practice of law in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
from 1926 to 1930. He was an Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney
for the District of Columbia from 1930 to 1934, and subsequently returned to private practice from 1934 to 1957. He also served as general counsel to the House Select Committee to Investigate the Federal Communications Commission in 1944; his appointment was opposed by the two Republican members of the committee.[5] However, Sirica resigned in protest over the committees's handling of the WMCA scandal that year, and re-entered private practice. In 1947, he joined the law firm of Hogan and Hartson in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
(now called Hogan Lovells).[6] He was a Republican and was appointed to the Court by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on February 25, 1957, to a seat vacated by Henry A. Schweinhaut. He was confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
on March 26, 1957, and received his commission on March 28, 1957. Sirica served on the bench, handling criminal and civil cases emanating from the District of Columbia. He was one of approximately 14 judges on the bench. Experienced as a trial lawyer, Sirica was known for his "no-nonsense" demeanor in on the bench. Author Joseph Goulden, in The Benchwarmers, said that some lawyers thought Sirica made careless legal errors. He was nicknamed "Maximum John" for giving defendants the maximum sentence that guidelines allowed. Sirica served as chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1974, and assumed senior status on October 31, 1977. In 1979, Sirica published a book, co-authored with John Stacks, detailing his participation in the Watergate cases under the title To Set the Record Straight. [7] [8][9] Death[edit] Sirica suffered a severe heart attack in 1976 while at a speaking engagement on February 5,[10] and survived. In the final years of his life, Sirica suffered from a wide range of ailments, both minor and severe.[citation needed] In the last few weeks of his life, he came down with pneumonia. He fell and broke his collarbone a few days before his death, and was hospitalized at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Medical Center in Washington, D.C..[4] He died in the hospital of cardiac arrest at 4:30 p.m. on August 14, 1992.[10][11] He was interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, Maryland.[12] Sirica was survived by his wife, Lucile Camalier Sirica, and his three children, John Jr., Patricia, and Eileen.[11] References[edit]

^ Barnes, Bart (August 15, 1992). " John Sirica
John Sirica
Obituary". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2007.  ^ Barnes, Bart (August 15, 1992). " John Sirica
John Sirica
Obituary". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2017.  ^ Sirica, John (April 1, 1979). To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 0393012344.  ^ a b "Sirica, 88, Dies; Persistent Judge In Fall of Nixon". The New York Times. August 15, 1992.  ^ "Sirica New House Probe Counsel". Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 26 (14): 14. April 3, 1944.  ^ Mason, Howard (November 4, 1973). "Sirica likes his country the way immigrants' sons do". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2017.  ^ "Review: To Set the Record Straight". KirkusReviews.com. Kirkus. Retrieved December 12, 2017.  ^ Muller, Henry. "John Stacks". Time. Time. Retrieved 28 August 2015.  ^ Sirica, John (April 1, 1979). To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 0393012344.  ^ a b "Watergate Judge John Sirica
John Sirica
Dies of Cardiac Arrest". Los Angeles Times. August 16, 1992.  ^ a b Barnes, Bart (August 15, 1992). "John Sirica, Watergate Judge, Dies". The Washington Post.  ^ Franscell 2012, p. 92.


Franscell, Ron (2012). The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Washington, D.C. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 9780762773855.  Sirica, John (April 1, 1979). To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 0393012344. 

External links[edit]

Washington Post biography "New York Times" biography Time Magazine 1973 Man of the Year Biography Watergate trial sketches, with Judge Sirica John Sirica
John Sirica
at Find a Grave

Legal offices

Preceded by Henry Albert Schweinhaut Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia 1957–1977 Succeeded by Harold H. Greene

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Time Persons of the Year


Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
(1927) Walter Chrysler
Walter Chrysler
(1928) Owen D. Young
Owen D. Young
(1929) Mohandas Gandhi (1930) Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
(1931) Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1932) Hugh S. Johnson
Hugh S. Johnson
(1933) Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1934) Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie
(1935) Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson
(1936) Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
/ Soong Mei-ling
Soong Mei-ling
(1937) Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(1938) Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
(1939) Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
(1940) Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1941) Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
(1942) George Marshall
George Marshall
(1943) Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1944) Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
(1945) James F. Byrnes
James F. Byrnes
(1946) George Marshall
George Marshall
(1947) Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
(1948) Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
(1949) The American Fighting-Man (1950)


Mohammed Mosaddeq (1951) Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
(1952) Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
(1953) John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
(1954) Harlow Curtice
Harlow Curtice
(1955) Hungarian Freedom Fighters (1956) Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
(1957) Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
(1958) Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1959) U.S. Scientists: George Beadle / Charles Draper / John Enders / Donald A. Glaser / Joshua Lederberg
Joshua Lederberg
/ Willard Libby
Willard Libby
/ Linus Pauling
Linus Pauling
/ Edward Purcell / Isidor Rabi / Emilio Segrè
Emilio Segrè
/ William Shockley
William Shockley
/ Edward Teller / Charles Townes / James Van Allen
James Van Allen
/ Robert Woodward (1960) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
(1961) Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
(1962) Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
(1963) Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
(1964) William Westmoreland
William Westmoreland
(1965) The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (1966) Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
(1967) The Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Astronauts: William Anders
William Anders
/ Frank Borman
Frank Borman
/ Jim Lovell (1968) The Middle Americans (1969) Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
(1970) Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
(1971) Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
/ Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
(1972) John Sirica
John Sirica
(1973) King Faisal (1974) American Women: Susan Brownmiller / Kathleen Byerly
Kathleen Byerly
/ Alison Cheek / Jill Conway / Betty Ford
Betty Ford
/ Ella Grasso / Carla Hills / Barbara Jordan / Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King
/ Susie Sharp / Carol Sutton / Addie Wyatt (1975)


Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
(1976) Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
(1977) Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
(1978) Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
(1980) Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
(1981) The Computer (1982) Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
/ Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
(1983) Peter Ueberroth
Peter Ueberroth
(1984) Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
(1985) Corazon Aquino
Corazon Aquino
(1986) Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
(1987) The Endangered Earth (1988) Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
(1989) George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
(1990) Ted Turner
Ted Turner
(1991) Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
(1992) The Peacemakers: Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
/ F. W. de Klerk
F. W. de Klerk
/ Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
/ Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
(1993) Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
(1994) Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
(1995) David Ho
David Ho
(1996) Andrew Grove
Andrew Grove
(1997) Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
/ Ken Starr
Ken Starr
(1998) Jeffrey P. Bezos (1999) George W. Bush
George W. Bush


Rudolph Giuliani (2001) The Whistleblowers: Cynthia Cooper / Coleen Rowley
Coleen Rowley
/ Sherron Watkins (2002) The American Soldier (2003) George W. Bush
George W. Bush
(2004) The Good Samaritans: Bono
/ Bill Gates
Bill Gates
/ Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates
(2005) You (2006) Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
(2007) Barack Obama
Barack Obama
(2008) Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke
(2009) Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
(2010) The Protester (2011) Barack Obama
Barack Obama
(2012) Pope Francis
Pope Francis
(2013) Ebola Fighters: Dr. Jerry Brown / Dr. Kent Brantly
Kent Brantly
/ Ella Watson-Stryker / Foday Gollah / Salome Karwah
Salome Karwah
(2014) Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
(2015) Donald Trump
Donald Trump
(2016) The Silence Breakers (2017)


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 163391483 LCCN: n79013872 ISNI: 0000 0001 1785 115X GND: 142837180 SUDOC: 07955377X SN