Washington Post confirms former FBI official was 'Deep Throat'

W. Mark Felt, a former deputy associate director of the FBI has been identified as 'Deep Throat', according to Vanity Fair magazine.

The Washington Post confirmed on Tuesday that W. Mark Felt, a former deputy associate director of the FBI, was "Deep Throat," the source that provided the newspaper with some of its biggest scoops during the Watergate scandal.

Felt, who lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., had long been suspected of being the anonymous source used by the Post. Watergate eventually led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Vanity Fair magazine unveiled his claim on Tuesday, promoting an upcoming article. It was confirmed by his family shortly after.

"The family believes my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well above and beyond the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice," said grandson Nick Jones, reading from a statement. "We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well."

"As he recently told my mother, 'I guess people used to think Deep Throat was a criminal, but now they think he was a hero.'"

The Vanity Fair article, to appear in the magazine's July issue, says the 91-year-old's two children persuaded their father to come forward. Felt gave the article's author, John D. O'Connor, permission to reveal his identity.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," Felt told O'Connor, the magazine said in a press release issued on Tuesday.

Felt told O'Connor he felt he was "doing his duty" and wasn't trying to topple Nixon, says the article.

It has been reported that Nixon believed Felt was the source of the leaks.

Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward, broke many of the Watergate stories in the Post, confirmed Felt's claims.

In a statement the two reporters said, "W. Mark Felt was 'Deep Throat' and helped us immeasurably in our Watergate coverage. However, as the record shows, many other sources and officials assisted us and other reporters for the hundreds of stories that were written in the Washington Post about Watergate."

Woodward and Bernstein had previously said they would only identify their source when he died.

Former Post editor Ben Bradlee, the third and final person to know the identity, also confirmed that Felt was the source.

Felt was first identified as Deep Throat in 1992 by author Ronald Kessler in an Atlantic Monthly article.

Nicknamed after a porn movie popular at the time, Deep Throat's role in Watergate was divulged in Woodward and Bernstein's book All the President's Men. A 1976 film of the same name won an Academy Award for its screenplay.