Childhood & Early Life
Roger Stone was born Roger Joseph Stone Jr., on August 27, 1952, in Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S., to Roger Joseph Stone and Gloria Rose. Roger is half-Hungarian and half-Italian. His was a middle-class Catholic family. His mother worked as a small-time local news reporter. His father was a well driller, who also owned a small company.
Soon after he was born, his family moved to New York City. This was a time when the World War II had ended and the Cold War had begun between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. Hence, the Americans, especially the New Yorkers, were politically conscious. Roger, too, became curious about the political scenario.
He was interested in politics ever since he was in elementary school. In 1960, when John F. Kennedy ran for president, Roger began promoting him in his school, despite the fact that most of his classmates and schoolmates were not eligible to vote.
In what he mentions as his first political trick, he told his classmates that Kennedy’s opponent, Nixon, was in favor of school on Saturdays. This was the beginning of his stint as a “trickster,” which would later earn him a lot of notoriety.
He attended high school in New York, and in his junior year, he became the vice president of the student government. It is believed that he had manipulated his classmates to become the president.
He read Barry Goldwater’s book ‘The Conscience of a Conservative’ and turned into a conservative for life. He also volunteered for Barry’s 1964 presidential campaign. However, Roger claimed in 2007 that though he was a conservative, he had libertarian leanings.
He later joined ‘Georgetown University.’ By then (in the early 1970s), he had made contacts with many people from the ‘Republican Party.’ He invited ‘Republican Party’ member Jeb Magruder, a businessman, to a ‘Republican’ youth meet at his college. This was the beginning of his political career.
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He asked Jeb Magruder to help him get a job in the ‘Republican Party.’ That was when Richard Nixon was running for president for the second time. Jeb helped Roger get a job on the ‘Richard Nixon Committee.’ Roger began working full-time there, after dropping out of college.
Soon, Roger began applying several tricks to ensure Nixon’s second victory in the presidential elections. He quickly became a favorite with the ‘Republican Party’ members, owing to his intelligence. He claimed that he had not done anything illegal, though several of his actions could still be categorized as trickery. The ‘Richard Nixon Foundation’ later cleared the air over the accusations of Roger being Nixon’s aide, saying that he was just a small-time party member.
However, it was later revealed that Roger had served as an important advisor to Nixon as “his man” in Washington, D.C. However, in 2019, when Roger was indicted on several counts, the ‘Nixon Foundation’ separated itself from Roger and repeated the claim, saying that he was just a party worker and had no direct correspondence with Nixon.
Following Nixon’s win in the election, in 1972, Roger was hired to work in the ‘Office of Economic Opportunity.’ He later began working for the ‘Republican Party’ supreme Bob Dole, after Nixon resigned as the president of the United States. However, when one newspaper article mentioned Roger as a “dirty trickster,” he was fired. Roger later claimed that he had no role in the “Watergate Scandal,” which had prompted the resignation of President Nixon.
In 1980, he helped presidential candidate Ronald Reagan with his campaign, which ended successfully, with Reagan becoming the 40th president of the United States.
He had played a key role in the success of the campaign, and to cash in on that, he laid the foundation of a lobbying and political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. They attracted several clients due to their relationship with the ‘White House.’ The firm soon became one of the biggest American companies in its domain. The firm was also known to be instrumental in launching a successful political campaign for Reagan’s re-election.
In 1992, however, the company faced an allegation over the controversial Willie Horton advertisements, which were circulated to help George H. W. Bush during his 1988 presidential campaign. The ads had a derogatory message about the ‘Democratic Party’ candidate Michael Dukakis. However, this led to an internal struggle in the company, and as a result, the business suffered. The company was later sold off.
In 1996, Roger faced further flak for circulating derogatory ads about himself and his wife seeking sexual partners. As a result, he resigned from the presidential campaign of Bob Dole. Years later, Roger accepted that the ads were authentic.
Over the years, he continued working as a political consultant for many small and big elections. In February 2012, he claimed that he did not belong to the ‘Republican Party’ and that he was a libertarian. He claimed that the year 2016 would bring an end to the ‘Republican Party’ and the ‘Libertarian Party’ would rise to take its place.
Roger had earlier worked with Donald Trump for many years, as a lobbyist for Trump’s casino business. He was thus hired by Trump for his 2016 election campaign. However, toward the end of 2015, he stopped working on the campaign. Trump stated that Roger had been fired, while Roger claimed that he had resigned. However, he still continued his support for Trump.
During the 2016 campaign, he was banned from appearing on many major TV networks after he made several derogatory statements about TV news personalities.
Despite many allegations and his removal from the campaign strategists’ team, he continued to lobby for Trump. Roger promoted many conspiracy theories and false claims about Hillary Clinton and her connections with the Muslim brotherhood. He also accused Hillary of receiving donations from Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire.
After an investigation was launched on the Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, two associates of Roger turned on him and stated that he had relations with Julian Assange, the founder of ‘WikiLeaks.’ The allegations stated that they had worked together to discredit Hillary Clinton, but Assange and Roger denied the claims.
Many documents that were later found proved that they had regular correspondence. Investigations also proved that Roger had used thousands of fake ‘Facebook’ accounts and blogs to ensure Trump’s victory.
On January 25, 2019, he was arrested on charges of witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to defame public figures. He was convicted on seven counts and sentenced to 40 months in prison.