Jan. 22 (Wednesday)

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Full Name: Daniel Ellsberg
Born: April 7, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois

Daniel Ellsberg is a former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, shocked the nation in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers — a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War — to the New York Times and other papers. Ellsberg thus became one of the biggest whistle-blowers in American history.

Charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 along with other charges of theft and conspiracy, Ellsberg faced a maximum prison sentence of 115 years. However, all charges against him were dropped due to governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering, along with the defense by Leonard Boudin and Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson.