By Hartford Courant's
Capitol Watch Blog
Richard "Dick'' McGowan, a longtime reporter and later Senator Lowell P. Weicker's chief investigator during the Watergate era, died last week at the age of 77.
McGowan wrote his own obituary about a colorful life that included serving as the White House correspondent for the New York Daily News and later working with U.S. Rep. Robert F. Steele of Connecticut on the worldwide heroin problem that led to Congressional hearings.
A longtime Weicker aide, Thomas D'Amore, remembered McGowan as one of the few who had the temerity to stand up to Weicker and tell him to his face that he was wrong.
"He was a real wit - never took any B.S. from Weicker,'' D'Amore said Monday. "Weicker really respected him. Weicker listened.''
"Among the living and the dead, the list is very short'' of those who would "bark back at Weicker,'' D'Amore said.
During his 30-year journalism career, McGowan covered some of the biggest events in the nation, such as the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the civil rights movement. A native New Yorker, he starting honing the craft of journalism by cranking out the weekly paper at Fordham Prep in the Bronx.
After leaving journalism three decades later, he worked for the predecessor of the Drug Enforcement Administration and then helped Weicker during the Senator's exploratory run for president in 1980, which lasted about 60 days.
"He has unbelievable life experience,'' D'Amore said of McGowan. "He was an interesting guy. He was a Washington big-league creature. This guy was the real deal.''
D'Amore talked Monday to Weicker, who is now 76 years old and has slowed down over time as he recovers from knee and back surgeries in recent years.
"His head's still working fine,'' D'Amore said.