From modest beginnings in Minnesota, Maurice Stans rose to become a millionaire and Cabinet official for two presidents before he fell with those undone by Watergate.
Stans, President Nixon's commerce secretary, suffered a heart attack Thursday and died Monday of heart failure at Huntington Memorial Hospital with his wife, Penny, at his side. He was 90.In the second Eisenhower administration, Stans was director of the Bureau of the Budget.
"He gave to two presidents, and through them to all Americans, the gift of prudence, honor, good sense and tireless service to the common good," said George L. Argyros, chairman of the Richard Nixon Libary & Birthplace Foundation, where Stans served as finance chairman.
Stans raised more than $60 million - a record - for Nixon's re-election campaign in 1972. But along with the TV ads, balloons and bunting, the money bought the dirty tricks and outright crimes that eventually brought down the president.
Stans was indicted along with former Attorney General John Mitchell on 10 counts of perjury and conspiracy involving a $200,000 contribution from financier Robert Vesco. They were acquitted by a jury.
Stans later pleaded guilty to five nonwillful violations of campaign financing laws and paid a $5,000 fine.