North, Oliver Laurence

North, Oliver Laurence,

1943–, American military officer and broadcasting personality, b. San Antonio, Tex. Raised in Philmont, N.Y., he entered the U.S. Marines, graduated from Annapolis (1968), served in the Vietnam War, and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1981 he was assigned to the National Security Council, and in 1983 he became the liaison to the Nicaraguan contras. In Nov., 1986, North emerged as the central figure in the Iran-contra affairIran-contra affair,
in U.S. history, secret arrangement in the 1980s to provide funds to the Nicaraguan contra rebels from profits gained by selling arms to Iran. The Iran-contra affair was the product of two separate initiatives during the administration of President Ronald
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. He was fired by President Reagan later that month. Under a grant of immunity he testified before Congress in July, 1987. He was convicted (1989) on criminal charges arising from the affair, but his conviction was reversed on the grounds that immunized testimony had been used at his trial. In 1994, North was the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Virginia, but he lost the election. He subsequently hosted and appeared on radio and television programs. In 2018 he was elected president of the National Rifle Association but served only one year due to conflicts within the NRA. North has written Mission Compromised (2002), a semiautobiographical novel of Washington intrigue.


See his autobiography, Under Fire (1991).

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