Rose Mary [Woods] (1917-2005) was Nixon's private secretary from 1951 until the end of his political career in 1974, and she became a close family friend. She was fiercely loyal, and more - as the Washington Post obituary put it, 'Miss Woods was Nixon's gatekeeper. Reporters said she controlled who could see her boss - and punished those she deemed critical'. The New York Times (25 December 2005) takes up the baton: 'Woods's outsize allegiance burst the confines of the Oval Office when, after a career spent discreetly in the background, she achieved precisely 18 [and a half] minutes of hideous, disfiguring fame. For a woman with a reputation for probity, Woods's implausible explanation of the erasure of a portion of a key Watergate tape was like a public self-immolation ... Woods made the cover of "Time" in December 1973 not as a supremely competent woman behind the throne, let alone the first female chief of staff, but as the hapless executive secretary of a pathetic and criminal cover-up'.