Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military's account of activities in Vietnam, to The New York Times. A Vietnam veteran and a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies, Ellsberg helped to compile the Pentagon Papers while working in the United States Department of Defense. Initially, he supported the war effort, but later turned against it. His release of the Pentagon Papers succeeded in eroding public support for the war.
After the Pentagon Papers were released, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt broke into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, hoping to find information they could use to discredit him. The revelation of the break-in became part of the Watergate scandal.