Robert F. Bennett was born September 18, 1933, in Salt Lake City. He was the son of Wallace Foster Bennett, a Senator from Utah, and the grandson of Mormon church president Heber J. Grant. He attended local public schools before graduating from the University of Utah in 1957 with a degree in political science.
In 1957 Bennett became a chaplain in the Army National Guard. In 1969 Bennett became chief congressional liaison at the Department of Transportation. Two years later he purchased Robert R. Mullen & Co, a public relations company in Washington. Amongst his clients was Howard Hughes. It was later discovered that the company was a Central Intelligence Agency front organization. When E. Howard Hunt retired from the CIA in 1970 Richard Helms suggested he should go and work for Robert R. Mullen.
On 7th July, 1971, Charles Colson and John Ehrlichman appointed Hunt to the White House staff. Working under Egil Krogh and Gordon Liddy Hunt became a member of the Special Investigations Group (SIG). The group was (informally known as "the Plumbers" because their job was to stop leaks from Nixon's administration). However, Hunt continued to work for Bennett. In fact, Bennett was able to help Hunt with his work at the White House. This included telling Hunt that Hank Greenspun, had enough information on Edmund Muskie to "blow him out of the water."
In 1972 Gordon Liddy joined the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). Later that year Liddy presented Nixon's attorney general, John N. Mitchell, with an action plan called Operation Gemstone. Liddy wanted a $1 million budget to carry out a series of black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies. Mitchell decided that the budget for Operation Gemstone was too large. Instead he gave him $250,000 to launch a scaled-down version of the plan.
One of Liddy's first tasks was to place electronic devices in the Democratic Party campaign offices in an apartment block called Watergate. Liddy wanted to wiretap the conversations of Larry O'Brien, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. This was not successful and on 3rd July, 1972, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord returned to O'Brien's office. However, this time they were caught by the police.
The phone number of E. Howard Hunt was found in address books of two of the burglars. Reporters were able to link the break-in to the White House. Bob Woodward, a reporter working for the Washington Post was told by a friend who was employed by the government, that senior aides of President Richard Nixon, had paid the burglars to obtain information about its political opponents.
Bob Woodward phoned Bennett who confirmed that Hunt was working for Robert Mullen & Co. He also told him he was also employed by Charles Colson in the White House. Bennett added: "I guess it's no secret that Howard was with the CIA." Soon afterwards Bennett sacked Hunt.
In 1974,Bennett became the public relations director for Summa Corporation, a company owned by Howard Hughes. Later that year he appeared before the House of Representatives Special Subcommittee on Intelligence. Chaired by Lucien Nedzi, the committee published a report titled Inquiry into the Alleged Involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Watergate and Ellsberg Matters. Bennett testified before the committee and admitted he knew that "Mullen & Co. had a contractual cover relationship with the CIA." He also testified that he knew Charles Colson as a result of working with him in a programme of dirty tricks against Dita Beard when she was threatening to expose details of the ITT antitrust scandal.
In an article published in 1976, J. Anthony Lukas, of the New York Times, claimed that Bennett was Deep Throat. In his book, In Search of Deep Throat, Leonard Garment argues that Bennett was probably trying to "distance the CIA, his sponsor and source of income, from the events of Watergate".
In 1978 Bennett became president of Osmond Communications. Other posts include chairman of American Computers Corporation (1979-81) president of Microsonics Corporation (1981-84) and chief executive officer of Franklin Quest (1984-1992).
Bennett was also author of Gaining Control: Your Key to Freedom and Success (1989). It includes this much quoted passage: "Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself."
A member of the Republican Party, Bennett was elected to the United States Senate in 1992. He was reelected in 1998 and 2004. Bennett serves on four committees: Senate Appropriations Committee, where he sits on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, the Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, the Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies, the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, and the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia; Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Joint Economic Committee; and Senate Small Business Committee. Bennett currently serves as the Deputy Republican Whip.