Nixon, Pat, 1912-1993

Alternative names
Birth 1912-03-16
Death 1993-06-22

Biographical notes:

Patricia Nixon, the wife of the 37th President of the United States, was born on March 16, 1912 in Ely, Nevada. Her mother, Kate Halberstadt Ryan, named her daughter Thelma Catherine. Her father, William Ryan, coming home past midnight from his work in the mines, learned of her birth and called her his "St. Patrick''s babe in the morn." She was to be known as "Pat" or "Patricia". Her mother was a widow with two children when she married William Ryan in 1909. Mrs. Nixon was the youngest of three children born to William and Kate Ryan; she had two brothers, William and Thomas. Before she was a year old, she moved with her family moved to Artesia, California, outside of Los Angeles. Her mother died in 1925, and her father died in 1930. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Fullerton Junior College in California. In 1931 she moved to New York and lived there for two years. She worked at a hospital, first as a secretary, and later, after a Columbia University summer course in radiology, as an X-ray technician. In 1934, she returned to California to go to college. In 1937, she graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in merchandising and a certificate in teaching. She worked as a high school teacher in California schools from 1937 to 1941, and joined the Whittier Little Theater group. In this theater group in 1937, she met a young lawyer named Richard M. Nixon. They married on June 21, 1940 in Riverside, California. In 1941, the Nixons moved to Washington, D.C., where Richard Nixon was an attorney in the Office of Emergency Management until he volunteered for naval service. His first assignment in 1942 was to Ottuma, Iowa, and Mrs. Nixon worked in a bank there. When her husband was assigned to duty in the South Pacific, she moved to San Francisco, California, and worked as an economist for the Office of Price Administration, 1942 to 1945. After the war, the Nixons moved to Baltimore, Maryland. In 1946, Richard Nixon was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California. That same year, the Nixon''s first daughter was born. Patricia (Tricia) was born on February 21, 1946. Their second daughter, Julie, was born on July 5, 1948. In 1950 Richard Nixon won election as a U.S. Senator from California, in 1952 he was elected Vice President of the United States under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in 1956 they were reelected. He was defeated in the election for the Presidency in 1960, and he was defeated in the election for the Governorship of California in 1962. The Nixons left political life in 1962 and moved to New York City, where Richard Nixon had a private law practice. He ran for the Presidency once more, and in 1968 he was elected the 37th President of the United States. As First Lady, Patricia Nixon championed volunteerism, literacy, and the establishment of new recreational parks. The Nixons left the White House in 1974, after Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency amid the Watergate scandal. In retirement, Patricia Nixon was a devoted grandmother and did not make many public appearances. She died on June 22, 1993 at home in Park Ridge, New Jersey.

From the description of Nixon, Pat, 1912-1993 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10679512


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  • Inauguration Day
  • First ladies


  • Secretaries
  • Teachers


  • Park Ridge, NJ, US
  • United States, 00, US
  • Ely, NV, US