Charles Gregory “Bebe” Rebozo (November 17, 1912 – May 8, 1998) was a Florida banker and businessman who became famous for being a friend and confidant of President Richard Nixon.
Rebozo first met then-U.S. Representative Nixon in 1950 through Florida Representative George Smathers. Smathers had recommended Key Biscayne as a vacation destination to Nixon, who eventually established a residence there which was later nicknamed the “Winter White House” by journalists. While Nixon was vacationing in Key Biscayne, Smathers had Rebozo take Nixon deep sea fishing. Rebozo and Nixon then started a friendship that endured 44 years.
Rebozo quickly became best friend and financial and real estate advisor to Nixon. In 1968 Rebozo changed his party from Democratic to Republican.
According to Rebozo, the two men were swimming together at Rebozo’s home in June 1972 when Nixon was first informed of the Watergate Hotel break-in. And he was with the president on the night that Nixon resolved to resign from the presidency.
John Dean, Nixon’s lawyer, testified before the House Judiciary Committee he was ordered to covertly direct government agencies to punish a journalist who called Rebozo “Nixon’s bagman.” Rebozo was investigated for accepting covert payments of $100,000 on behalf of Nixon.
Journalist Jack Anderson speculated that Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox had been fired because he had started to investigate Rebozo’s role in Nixon accepting covert payments.
Rebozo received a letter threatening his life in 1974.
In 1976, Rebozo was the subject of a bank fraud investigation. The loan application Rebozo filed with Hudson Valley National Bank (Yonkers, New York) stated that the loan was for residential real estate when it was actually used for business. Rebozo repaid the loan with interest, and the bank did not file a complaint.
Following his graduation from Miami High School, class of 1930, Rebozo married his high school sweetheart Claire Gunn. Both of them were 18 years old and the marriage was annulled three years later. In 1946 they remarried but divorced four years later. He later married Jane Lucke who survived him in death.