Kenneth H. Dahlberg, a World War II fighter pilot and Minnesota businessman best known for a minor role in Watergate, has died.
Dahlberg, a Deephaven, Minn., resident who died Tuesday, was 94, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
A native of Minnesota, Dahlberg grew up on a farm. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for a war record that included shooting down 15 German planes and being shot down three times himself, ending the war as a POW.
When he returned to Minneapolis, Dahlberg had about $1,000 in pay that had accumulated while he was in a prison camp, Paul Waldon, a former employee, said. In 1948, he founded what later became the Miracle-Ear hearing aid company.
A future U.S. senator, Barry Goldwater, was one of Dahlberg's flight instructors in the Army. Dahlberg was involved in fundraising for Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign.
A $25,000 check from Dwayne Andreas of Archer-Daniels-Midland got Dahlberg caught up in Watergate. The legal contribution, delivered by Dahlberg to President Richard Nixon's campaign in 1972, turned up in the bank account of one of the men arrested at the Democratic National Committee office.
Dahlberg was cleared of any misconduct but the incident dogged him for the rest of his life. Warren Mack, Dahlberg's biographer, said Dahlberg did not let it bother him although the association was a "source of pain" to his wife.
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