Oliver North
Overview
 
Oliver Laurence North (born October 7, 1943) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, political commentator, host of War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories is a military history program on the Fox News Channel. Hosted by Oliver North , the program covers a number of different stories relating to war and national defense, featuring individuals who were directly involved with the topic covered in...

on Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, a military historian, and a New York Times best-selling author.

North was at the center of national attention during the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

, a political scandal
Scandal
A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages the reputation of an institution, individual or creed...

 of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 staff member involved in the clandestine
Clandestine operation
A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed.The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental...

 sale of weapons to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, which served to encourage the release of U.S.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Oliver Laurence North (born October 7, 1943) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, political commentator, host of War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories is a military history program on the Fox News Channel. Hosted by Oliver North , the program covers a number of different stories relating to war and national defense, featuring individuals who were directly involved with the topic covered in...

on Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, a military historian, and a New York Times best-selling author.

North was at the center of national attention during the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

, a political scandal
Scandal
A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages the reputation of an institution, individual or creed...

 of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 staff member involved in the clandestine
Clandestine operation
A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed.The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental...

 sale of weapons to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, which served to encourage the release of U.S. hostage
Hostage
A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

s from Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. North formulated the second part of the plan: diverting proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua (funding to the Contras had been prohibited under the Boland Amendment
Boland Amendment
The Boland Amendment was the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984, all aimed at limiting U.S. government assistance to the Contras in Nicaragua...

 amidst widespread public opposition in the U.S. and controversies surrounding human rights abuses by the Contras). North was charged with several felonies and convicted of three, but the convictions were later vacated, and the underlying charges dismissed due to the limited immunity agreement granted for his pre-trial public Congressional testimony about the affair.

Early life

North was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Ann Theresa (née Clancy) and Oliver Clay North, an army Major. He grew up in Philmont, New York
Philmont, New York
Philmont is a village in Columbia County, New York, USA. The population was 1,379 at the 2010 census.The Village of Philmont is located in the northeast corner of the Town of Claverack on Route 217.-History:...

, and graduated from Ockawamick High School in 1961. He attended State University of New York at Brockport
State University of New York at Brockport
The College at Brockport: State University of New York, also known as SUNY Brockport, Brockport State, College at Brockport, or the State University of New York at Brockport, is a four-year liberal arts college located in Brockport, Monroe County, New York, United States, near Rochester...

 in Brockport, New York
Brockport, New York
Brockport is a village located in the Town of Sweden in Monroe County, New York, USA. The population was 8,103 at the 2000 census. The name is derived from Hiel Brockway, an early settler....

, for two years.

While at Brockport, North spent a summer at the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 Platoon Leaders Class and Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps Base Quantico, sometimes abbreviated MCB Quantico, is a major United States Marine Corps training base located near Triangle, Virginia, covering nearly in southern Prince William County, northern Stafford County, and southeastern Fauquier County...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, and gained an appointment to the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

 in 1963. He received his commission as Second Lieutenant in 1968 (he missed a year due to injuries from an auto accident). One of North's classmates at the Academy was former Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

 and current U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Jim Webb
Jim Webb
James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

. Although a heavy underdog, North beat Webb in a championship boxing
Amateur boxing
Amateur boxing is practised at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sponsored by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing bouts are short in duration and fighters wear head protection, so this type of competition prizes point-scoring rather...

 match at Annapolis.

U.S. Marine Corps career

North served as a platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

 leader in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 where, during combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 service, he was awarded the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

, Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

 and two Purple Heart
Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

 medals. He then became an instructor at The Basic School in Quantico
Quantico, Virginia
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

. In 1970, North returned to South Vietnam to testify at the trial of Corporal Randy Herrod, a Marine formerly under his command who had been charged with a mass killing of Vietnamese civilians. North was promoted to Captain in 1971 and served as commanding officer of the Marine Corps Northern Training Area
Camp Gonsalves
Camp Gonsalves is located in Northern Okinawa, Japan across the villages of Kunigami and Higashi. At JWTC contains 22 helicopter landing zones, one water surface beach access, four bivouac sites, three outdoor classrooms, one firebase, three 3rd world village target sites and one target missile...

 in Okinawa Prefecture
Okinawa Prefecture
is one of Japan's southern prefectures. It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island...

, Japan.

After Okinawa, North was assigned for four years to Marine Headquarters
Headquarters Marine Corps
Headquarters Marine Corps is a headquarters staff within the Department of the Navy which includes the offices of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and various staff functions...

 in Arlington, Virginia. He was promoted to Major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

, and then served two years as operations officer of 3rd Battalion
3rd Battalion 8th Marines
3rd Battalion 8th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina consisting of approximately 1,100 Marines and Sailors...

, 8th Marine Regiment, commanded by then Lt. Col. John Southy Grinalds, 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejeune at Jacksonville, North Carolina
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a city in Onslow County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 United States census, the population stood at 70,145, which makes Jacksonville the 14th largest city in North Carolina...

. It was through Lt. Col. Grinalds that North developed a deep personal commitment to the Christian faith. He attended the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College
Naval War College
The Naval War College is an education and research institution of the United States Navy that specializes in developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy. The college is located on the grounds of Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island...

 in Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War...

, and graduated in 1981.

North began his assignment to the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 (NSC) in Washington, D.C., where he served as the deputy director for political-military affairs from 1981 until his reassignment in 1986. In 1983, North received his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

, which would be his last.

During his tenure at the NSC, North managed a number of missions. This included leading the hunt for those responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing
1983 Beirut barracks bombing
The Beirut Barracks Bombing occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen...

 that killed 241 U.S. Marines, an effort that saw North arranging a midair interception of an EgyptAir
EgyptAir
EgyptAir is the flag carrier airline of Egypt and a member of Star Alliance. The airline is based at Cairo International Airport, its main hub, operating scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas...

 jet carrying those responsible for the Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. Built between 1939 and 1947 as MS Willem Ruys, a passenger liner for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. It is most remembered for its 1985 hijacking...

 hijacking. Also at the NSC, he helped plan the U.S. invasion of Grenada
Invasion of Grenada
The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was a 1983 United States-led invasion of Grenada, a Caribbean island nation with a population of about 100,000 located north of Venezuela. Triggered by a military coup which had ousted a four-year revolutionary government, the invasion...

 and the 1986 Bombing of Libya
Operation El Dorado Canyon
The 1986 United States bombing of Libya, code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, comprised the joint United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air-strikes against Libya on April 15, 1986. The attack was carried out in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing.-Origins:Shortly after his...

.

During his trial, Oliver North spent his last two years on active duty assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Virginia.

Iran-Contra affair

North came into the public spotlight as a result of his participation in the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

, a political scandal of the late 1980s, in which he claimed partial responsibility for the sale of weapons via intermediaries to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, with the profits being channeled to the Contras
Contras
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...

 in Nicaragua. He was reportedly responsible for the establishment of a covert network, which aided the Contras. The Boland Amendment
Boland Amendment
The Boland Amendment was the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984, all aimed at limiting U.S. government assistance to the Contras in Nicaragua...

 (to the House Appropriations Bill of 1982 and subsequent years) prohibited the appropriation of U.S. funds by intelligence agencies for this purpose at that time, thus the search for alternative funding sources. Funding was facilitated through Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C.
Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C.
Palmer National of Washington, D.C. is a bank in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1983 by Harvey McLean, Jr. Palmer National of Washington, D.C. is a bank in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1983 by Harvey McLean, Jr. Palmer National of Washington, D.C. is a bank in Washington, D.C.. It...

 It was founded in 1983 by Harvey McLean, Jr., a businessman from Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the principal city of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana and is the 109th-largest city in the United States....

. and was initially funded with $2.8 million dollars by Herman K. Beebe
Herman K. Beebe
Herman K. Beebe was a Louisiana financier who was convicted of fraud in 1988 during the savings and loan crisis.-External reference links:...

. North supposedly used this bank during the Iran-Contra scandal by funneling money from his shell organization, the "National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty," through Palmer National Bank to the Contras.

According to the National Security Archive
National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

, in August 23, 1986 e-mail to National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 John Poindexter
John Poindexter
John Marlan Poindexter is a retired United States naval officer and Department of Defense official. He was Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor for the Reagan administration. He was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies as a result of his actions in the Iran-Contra...

, Oliver North described a meeting with a representative of Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

nian Dictator Manuel Noriega
Manuel Noriega
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno is a Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989.The 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States removed him from power; he was captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on...

: "You will recall that over the years Manuel Noriega in Panama and I have developed a fairly good relationship," North writes before explaining Noriega's proposal. If U.S. officials can "help clean up his image" and lift the ban on arms sales to the Panamanian Defense Force, Noriega will "'take care of' the Sandinista leadership for us."

North told Poindexter that Noriega could assist with sabotage against the Sandinistas and supposedly suggested that Noriega be paid one million dollars in cash, from "Project Democracy
National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote US-friendly democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress...

" funds raised from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran—for the Panamanian leader's help in destroying Nicaraguan economic installations.

In November 1986, as the sale of weapons
Herman K. Beebe
Herman K. Beebe was a Louisiana financier who was convicted of fraud in 1988 during the savings and loan crisis.-External reference links:...

 was made public, North was dismissed by President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and, in July 1987, he was summoned to testify before televised hearings of a joint Congressional committee that was formed to investigate Iran-Contra. The image of North taking the oath became iconic, and similar photographs made the cover of Time and Newsweek, and helped to define him in the eyes of the public. During the hearings, North admitted that he had lied to Congress, for which, among other things, he was later charged. He defended his actions by stating that he believed in the goal of aiding the Contras, whom he saw as freedom fighters, and said that he viewed the Iran-Contra scheme as a "neat idea". North admitted shredding government documents related to his Contra and Iranian activities, at William Casey's suggestion, when the Iran Contra scandal became public. He testified that Robert McFarlane
Robert McFarlane
Robert Carl "Bud" McFarlane was a National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, serving from 1983 through 1985.After a career in the Marines, he became part of the Reagan administration, and was a leading architect of the Strategic Defense Initiative for defending the United States...

 had asked him to alter official records to delete references to direct assistance to the contras and that he had helped.

North was tried in 1988 in relation to his activities while at the National Security Council. He was indicted on sixteen felony
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 counts, and, on May 4, 1989, he was initially convicted of three: accepting an illegal gratuity; aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry; and ordering the destruction of documents via his secretary, Fawn Hall
Fawn Hall
Fawn Hall was a secretary to Lt. Colonel Oliver North and a notable figure in the Iran-Contra affair, helping him shred confidential documents....

. He was sentenced, by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years' probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service.

However, on July 20, 1990, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 (ACLU), North's convictions were vacated, after the appeals court found that witnesses in his trial might have been impermissibly affected by his immunized congressional testimony.

Because North had been granted limited immunity for his Congressional testimony, the law prohibited the independent counsel (or any prosecutor) from using that testimony as part of a criminal case against him. To prepare for the expected defense challenge that North's testimony had been used, the prosecution team had—before North's congressional testimony had been given—listed and isolated all of its evidence. Further, the individual members of the prosecution team had isolated themselves from news reports and discussion of North's testimony. While the defense could show no specific instance in which North's congressional testimony was used in his trial, the Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge had made an insufficient examination of the issue. Consequently, North's convictions were reversed. The Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 declined to review the case. After further hearings on the immunity issue, Judge Gesell
Gerhard Alden Gesell
Gerhard Alden Gesell was a United States federal judge.Born in Los Angeles, California, Gesell received an A.B. from Yale University in 1932 and an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1935. He was a Trial attorney of Securities and Exchange Commission from 1935 to 1940...

 dismissed all charges against North on September 16, 1991, on the motion of the independent counsel.

Allegations were made, most notably by the Kerry Subcomitee, that North and other senior officials created a privatized contra network that attracted drug traffickers looking for cover for their operations, then turned a blind eye to repeated reports of drug smuggling related to the contras, and actively worked with known drug smugglers such as Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to assist the contras. Most Contra associates found guilty of trafficking by the Kerry Committee were involved in the supply chain (ostensibly for "humanitarian goods," though the supply chain was later found to have serviced the transport of arms), which had been set up by North. Organizations and individuals involved in the supply chain under investigation for trafficking included the company SETCO (operated by large-scale trafficker Juan Matta-Ballesteros
Juan Matta-Ballesteros
Juan Ramón Matta-Ballesteros is a former drug lord with ties to the Colombian Medellín Cartel...

), the fruit company Frigorificos de Puntarenas, rancher John Hull, and several Cuban Exiles; North and other US government officials were criticized by the Kerry Report for their practice of "ticket punching" for these parties, whereby people under active investigation for drug trafficking were given cover and pay by joining in the Contra supply chain. In addition to the Kerry Committee's investigation, the Costa Rican government of Nobel-Prize winner Óscar Arias
Óscar Arias
Óscar Arias Sánchez is a Costa Rican politician who was President of Costa Rica from 2006 to 2010. He previously served as President from 1986 to 1990 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars then raging in several other Central American countries.He is also a...

 conducted an investigation of Contra-related drug trafficking, and as a result of this investigation, North and several other US Government officials were permanently banned from entering Costa Rica. North has consistently denied any involvement with drug trafficking, stating on Fox's Hannity and Colmes, "...nobody in the government of the United States, going all the way back to the earliest days of this under Jimmy Carter, ever had anything to do with running drugs to support the Nicaraguan resistance."

Later life and career

Politics

In 1994, North unsuccessfully ran for the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 as the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 candidate in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. Republican Senator John Warner
John Warner
John William Warner, KBE is an American Republican politician who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974 and as a five-term United States Senator from Virginia from January 2, 1979, to January 3, 2009...

 of Virginia endorsed Marshall Coleman
Marshall Coleman
J. Marshall Coleman is a Republican politician in Virginia who ran for several statewide offices between the late 1970s and early 1990s.-Life:...

, a Republican who ran as an independent, instead of North. On the eve of the election, former first lady Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Nancy Davis Reagan is the widow of former United States President Ronald Reagan and was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989....

 told a reporter that North had lied to her husband when discussing Iran-Contra with the former president, effectively stopping his campaign. North lost by a 46% to 43% margin to incumbent Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Charles Robb, a son-in-law of President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

. Coleman received 11%. North's candidacy was documented in the 1996 film A Perfect Candidate.

In his failed bid to unseat Robb, North raised $20.3 million in a single year through nationwide direct mail solicitations, telemarketing, fundraising events, and contributions from major donors. About $16 million of that amount was from direct mail
Direct mail
Advertising mail, also known as direct mail, junk mail, or admail, is the delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail. The delivery of advertising mail forms a large and growing service for many postal services, and direct-mail marketing forms a significant portion of the direct...

 alone. This was the biggest accumulation of direct mail funds for a statewide campaign to that date, and it made North the top direct mail political fundraiser in the country in 1994.

Books and media

North has written several best-selling books including Under Fire, One More Mission, War Stories — Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mission Compromised
Mission Compromised
Mission Compromised is a novel written in 2002 by Oliver North and Joe Musser that details the story of one of the most secretive military units in history. It is officially fiction but in later interviews North mentions that he changed "names, dates, and places" so as not to violate numerous...

, The Jericho Sanction, and The Assassins.

His latest book, American Heroes, was released nationally in the U.S. on May 6, 2008. In this book, North addresses issues of defense against global terrorism, Jihad, and radical Islam from his perspective as a military officer and national security advisor and current Middle East war correspondent. North is also a syndicated columnist.

From 1995 to 2003, North was host of his own nationally-syndicated radio program
Talk radio
Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live...

 known as the Oliver North Radio Show or Common Sense Radio. He also served as co-host of Equal Time on MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 for a couple of including the years starting in 1999. North is currently the host of the television show War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories with Oliver North
War Stories is a military history program on the Fox News Channel. Hosted by Oliver North , the program covers a number of different stories relating to war and national defense, featuring individuals who were directly involved with the topic covered in...

, and a regular commentator on Hannity
Hannity
Hannity is a television show on the Fox News network, a replacement to the long-running show Hannity & Colmes. It is hosted by conservative political pundit Sean Hannity....

, both on the Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

. North appeared as himself on many television shows including the sitcom Wings in 1991, and three episodes of the TV military drama JAG
JAG (TV series)
JAG is an American adventure/legal drama television show that was produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television and, for the first season only, NBC Productions...

in 1995, 1996 and 2002. In addition, he regularly speaks at both public and private events.

Freedom Alliance

In 1990, North founded the Freedom Alliance, a 501(c)(3) foundation "... to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense." The foundation's primary activities include providing support for wounded combat soldiers and providing scholarships for the sons and the daughters of service members killed in action. Beginning in 2003, Sean Hannity has raised over $10 million for the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund through Freedom Concerts and donations from the Sean Hannity Show and its listeners. The charity has been criticized by conservative-leaning blogger Debbie Schlussel
Debbie Schlussel
Debbie Schlussel is an American attorney, film critic, political commentator, and a conservative blogger who focuses particularly on Islam and American Muslims. Her writing frequently targets the largely Muslim population of the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, which she refers to as "Dearbornistan"...

 for distributing too little of its funds for charitable purposes. Hannity, North, and other charity spokespersons claim that all of the net proceeds from the Freedom Concerts are donated to the fund.

Other

Pictures of North in the NSA buildings with former British Intelligence Officer John P. Lawrence were flashed around the world, when the two former colleagues were asked to help the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Also, in 1991, Oliver North appeared on the first season of The Jerry Springer Show
The Jerry Springer Show
The Jerry Springer Show is a syndicated television tabloid talk show hosted by Jerry Springer, a former politician, broadcast in the United States and other countries...

.

Although raised a Roman Catholic, he has long attended Protestant evangelical services with his family.

North is a board member in the NRA
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

 and had appeared at the NRA national convention in 2007 and 2008.

Gwar
Gwar
Gwar is a satirical heavy metal band formed in Richmond, Virginia, United States, in 1984. The band is best known for its elaborate science fiction/horror film inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic stage performances, which feature humorous enactments of politically and morally taboo...

, a satirical heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band, formed in Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 in 1984, released a song titled "Ollie North" on their 1988 debut album Hell-O
Hell-O
Hell-o! is the debut album by Gwar. The album was released in 1988, on Shimmy Disc Records.Gwar's angle on the album is that of a morbid punk band obsessed with debauchery, violence and toilet humor...

.

American Dad!
American Dad!
American Dad! is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane and owned by Underdog Productions and Fuzzy Door Productions. It is produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television...

's season 3
American Dad! (season 3)
American Dad!'s third season aired from September 23, 2007 to May 18, 2008.The season consisted of sixteen episodes. The first half of the season is included within the Volume Three DVD box set, which was released on April 15, 2008 and the second half is included within the Volume Four DVD box set,...

 episode Stanny Slickers II: The Legend of Ollie's Gold plot is related to Oliver North.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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