Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994

Alternative names
Birth 1913-01-09
Death 1994-04-22

Biographical notes:

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States, was born on his family''s farm on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. His family moved to Whittier, California in 1922, and his father operated a grocery store there. His mother''s family were Quakers, and Nixon attended Whittier College, a Quaker institution. He graduated from Whittier in 1934, and won a scholarship to Duke University Law School. After graduating from Duke, he returned to Whittier, California and joined the law firm of Kroop and Bewley, which became Kroop, Bewley and Nixon. He was also involved in the Whittier Little Theater group, where he met Patricia (Pat) Ryan, a high school teacher. They married on June 21, 1940 in Riverside, California. In 1941 they moved to Washington, D.C., where Nixon was an attorney for the Office of Emergency Management until he volunteered for naval service. He entered the U.S. Navy in August 1942 and was assigned to a naval air base in Ottuma, Iowa. After six months, he was assigned to duty in the South Pacific with the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. After the war, the Nixons moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where Lieutenant Commander Nixon served as a lawyer for the Navy. He mustered out of the Navy in January 1946 when he decided to run for Congress. In 1946, he 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. Nixon was reelected to Congress in 1948, and he was a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1950, he won election as a U.S. Senator from California. General Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Nixon as his running mate on the Republican ticket for the presidency. In 1952, Nixon was elected Vice President of the United States under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in 1956 they were reelected. As Vice President, Nixon traveled often and was the chief political spokesman in the Eisenhower administration. In 1960, he won the Republican presidential nomination and chose Henry Cabot Lodge as his running mate. They lost the election to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and Nixon returned to California to run for the Governorship of California in 1962. After losing this election, Nixon left political life in 1962 and moved to New York City, where he had a private law practice with the firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin & Todd. The firm later became Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Mitchell. In 1968, Nixon decided to run for the presidency again, and picked Governor Spiro T. Agnew as his running mate. In November 1968, Richard M. Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States. During his first term in office from 1969 to 1972, the primary issue he dealt with was the Vietnam War. He tried to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War at the Paris peace talks, but this was unsuccessful. In early 1972, he made historic trips to China and Moscow, and signed an agreement with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear arsenals of the two countries. In 1972, Nixon was reelected as President of the United States, but his second term was cut short by the Watergate scandal. A break-in at Democratic national headquarters that was linked to Republicans led to the resignation of several top Nixon administration officials, including Vice President Spiro Agnew and ultimately, the President himself. On August 9, 1974, Nixon became the first President of the United States to resign. In September 1974, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Nixon for any offenses committed while he was president. He retired from political life, but by the late 1980s he emerged as a consultant with the Bush and Clinton administrations. He also wrote several books on politics and international affairs. He died on April 22, 1994.


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  • Watergate Affair, 1972-1974--Sources
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  • Statesmen--United States
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