Clyde Jay Jennings is the only son of Martha Mitchell, the famous outspoken wife of President Richard Nixon’s attorney general, John N. Mitchell. Jennings was born in 1947 and lived a private life away from the spotlight cast on his controversial parents.
Early Life and Family
Clyde Jay Jennings was born in 1947 in the United States. He was the only child of Clyde Jennings Jr. and Martha Mitchell’s first marriage. His father Clyde was a U.S. Army officer from Lynchburg, Virginia who later worked as a traveling salesman.
Martha divorced Clyde Jr. and married John N. Mitchell in 1957. Together Martha and John had a daughter named Marty, making her Clyde’s half-sister. The family lived in Rye, New York.
Though details about his early life are scarce, it’s believed Clyde had a comfortable upbringing and was well-educated. He studied law at the University of Mississippi.
Career as a GAO Investigator
In the 1980s, Clyde Jay Jennings worked as an investigator for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington D.C. He also served as a researcher for the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security.
After making some public appearances related to his job decades ago, Jennings has maintained a very low profile. He likely retired at some point and has avoided any media spotlight.
Connection to Gaslit TV Series
The 2022 TV series Gaslit dramatizes the Watergate scandal that engulfed Martha Mitchell and John Mitchell. Although Clyde doesn’t appear as a character, the show features a character named Jay Jennings who seems loosely based on Martha’s real-life son.
On the show Jay is depicted as a law student and Martha’s confidante. In real life, Clyde Jay Jennings did study law and was close with his mother.
Mother’s Death and Later Life
Clyde’s mother Martha Mitchell sadly passed away in 1976 after battling multiple myeloma. Clyde cared for her until her death and served as family spokesperson.
Just a few months after Martha’s death, Clyde expressed frustration that many of his mother’s belongings were auctioned off by a storage company without the family’s consent. This meant Clyde inherited little of Martha’s estate.
In 2006, Clyde lost his biological father Clyde Jennings Jr. as well. Throughout all of this, Clyde remained very private and avoided any media attention.
Clyde married a woman named Janis Crawford in 1974, who he met in college. It’s unclear if the couple had any children. Today, Clyde is believed to be in his mid-70s and retired from his investigative career. He has maintained his privacy and not appeared publicly in decades.
The Son Who Shunned the Spotlight
As the only child of larger-than-life Martha Mitchell, Clyde Jay Jennings could have easily pursued fame and publicity. Instead he has lived a quiet, unassuming life devoid of scandal or notoriety. Despite coming from a prominent political family, Clyde carved out a career in government accountability, not politics.
Clyde’s desire to stay out of the public eye is rather ironic considering his mother’s outspokenness regularly put her on the front page. But while Martha seemed to relish her role as a controversial public figure, her son took the opposite approach and eschewed the pressures of fame and media attention.
Now in his later years, Clyde remains a man of mystery who found fulfillment in a simple private life. His mother was the life of the party, but Clyde was always more comfortable out of the spotlight, letting his work speak for itself. He shunned celebrity and escaped the circus, finding peace in a quiet, ordinary life.