He Exposed The Truth, But Didn't Get The Credit

view of watergate from the air
Briona Lamback
June 7, 2022

On June 17, 1972, unsung hero Frank Wills, a 24-year-old security guard at the Watergate office complex, reported the most infamous political corruption to ever happen in the U.S, ultimately leading to Richard Nixon’s resignation: The Watergate Scandal.

Wills was a few hours into his shift when he found the locks on a stairwell door covered with masking tape. An hour later, when he returned from his lunch break, the tape reappeared, prompting him to call the police and report a burglary attempt. 

When police arrived, they caught five burglars ransacking the Democratic National Committee's offices.

Soon the story blew up, but much like America's whitewashed history books, Frank Wills' heroism was wiped from the headlines. 

Instead, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were lauded for breaking the story. But what about Wills?

Wills maintained that he was ostracized from working in Washington, D.C. – because once the story broke, he was never hired anywhere in the city again! In 1983, he was even wrongfully convicted of shoplifting and spent a year in prison.

Tragically, Wills’ life ended with him living in poverty, fighting against a brain tumor that would ultimately take his life in 2000. But like columnist Colbert I. King spoke out to say in 2005, without Wills, this critical moment in history would have never happened!

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