Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Oliver Laurence North on October 7, 1943 in San Antonio, Texas, to Oliver Clay North, a US Army major and Ann Theresa. He was raised in the neighbourhood of Philmont, New York.
In 1961, he graduated from the Ockawamick High School. He later went on to attend the State University of New York at Brockport, New York, for two years.
He attended the United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class for a summer. This was held at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. In 1963, he was appointed in the United States Naval Academy.
In 1981, he graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he had taken a 'Command and Staff Course'.
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In 1968, he was appointed as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. During the Vietnam War, he was posted as a platoon commander.
He became an instructor in Quantico, Virginia, at the United States Marine Corpse’s, The Basic School, which was training school that intended to teach the various prerequisites needed to become an Officer of Marines.
In 1970, he went to South Vietnam as one of the witnesses of the trial of Corporal Randy Herrod. Herrod, a U.S Marine, previously under his commandment, was accused of mass killing of Vietnamese citizens.
In 1971, he received promotion as Captain and started serving as the commanding officer of the U.S. Marine Corps in the Northern Training Area in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
After duty in Japan, he was commissioned to work at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, for the next four years. Subsequently, after being promoted as a major, he served as an operations officer in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
From 1981, he was appointed as the deputy director for political-military affairs in the National Security Council in Washington, D.C. In the next three years, he was promoted as a lieutenant colonel.
As the deputy director for political-military affairs in the National Security Council, he led the operation of the ‘1983 Beirut barracks bombing' case. This bombing resulted in the loss of 299 military personnel, both American and French.
During his tenure with the National Security Council he was part of the ‘Operation Urgent Fury', which was the 1983 invasion of Grenada, located in the Caribbean Islands. He also planned the bombing of Libya.
He was implicated in the Iran–Contra affair, which involved the sale of arms to Iran in exchange for U.S. hostages. This was to covertly aid Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua.
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In 1988, he officially resigned from the Marine Corps commission. During his trial period in the last two years, he was on duty at the Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Virginia.
In 1989, he was declared guilty of 12 charges in the Iran–Contra affair and was granted a suspended jail sentence of three years. He was also fined a sum of $150,000.
In 1990, three of the charged convictions were dropped. The following year, he was relived off the charges that were put against him, after it was found that the witnesses were impermissibly affected due to his 'immunized congressional testimony'.
In 1991, he came out with the book titled, ‘Under Fire: An American Story'. The same year, he was seen on the first season of the syndicated talk show, 'The Jerry Springer Show' and the sitcom, ‘Wings’.
In 1994, he stood for the United States Senate as the Republican Party candidate in Virginia. The run was not a successful one as he lost to Democrat candidate Charles Robb.
From 1995, he started hosting the nationally-syndicated radio show, 'Oliver North Radio Show or Common Sense Radio'.
From 2001, he started hosting the Fox News military history show, ‘War Stories with Oliver North'. He also appeared as a commentator on the TV show, ‘Hannity'. He was also seen on the drama show, ‘JAG’.
In 2012, he was given credit as the military consultant for the shooter video game, ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’. He has also appeared on an episode of the reality show, ‘Auction Kings’.
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Personal Life & Legacy
In 1967, he married Betsy Stuart, with whom he fathered four children.
Even though he was raised a Catholic, he has attended Anglican services along with his family.
In 1990, he founded the 'Freedom Alliance', which was an organisation that was dedicated to 'Honoring and Supporting America's Military Heroes.'
He is one of the board members of the National Rifle Association of America. In 2007 and 2008, he attended the National Rifle Association of America’s national convention.
He has authored numerous books including, 'The Assassins', 'The Jericho Sanction', 'Under Fire', 'One More Mission', ‘War Stories – Operation Iraqi Freedom' and ' Mission Compromised'.