37th President of United States. Richard Milhous Nixon received international notoriety, as the United States President, for reducing the tension in 1972 between the United States and the countries of China and the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, in 1973 ending American's involvement with North Vietnam, and in the dark shadow of a scandal, being the first to resign from the office of United States President. Other achievements of his presidency included ending the military draft, starting environmental programs such as Earth Day and the Clean Air Act, busing students to enforce school racial integration, supporting Women's Rights, and supporting the Space program with the first American astronauts landing on the moon. As Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger negotiated agreements between Israel and the countries of Egypt and Syria. Halting crime, he created the National Council on Organized Crime on June 4, 1970, budgeted 25 million dollars for crime control, and signed the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. Born the second of five children of a poor Quaker family, he was raised on a lemon farm in California. He graduated second in his high school class and was offered a scholarship to Harvard University, but declined to attend a Quaker school. Graduating with honors from Whittier College in 1934, he excelled in sports, debates and drama. Upon graduating from Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina, he started his law practice in his hometown in California. In 1940 he married Thelma Catherine “Pat” Ryan and had two daughters, Patricia and Julie. The family relocated to Washington D. C. in 1942 where he held a position in President Franklin Roosevelt's Office of Price Administration for a short time. During World War II, he could have had a service exemption for being a Quaker and part of the President's administration, but he served in the Navy in the Pacific, never seeing combat, and reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. Upon discharge from the military, he began, at the encouragement of college classmates, his career in politics by being elected to the United States Congress from his California district in November of 1946. He rapidly became involved with international policy working with Europe's recovery from World War II. In 1950 he was elected to the United States Senate seat. In a time of the anti-Communist bandwagon, he became a member of the House Un-American Activities from 1948 to 1950 taking on the investigation of a State Department member, Alger Hiss, who was charged with spying for Russia. With heavy newspaper coverage, Nixon is remembered for his firm interrogation of Hiss while on the witness stand. Two years later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower selected him, at the age of thirty-nine, to be his running mate as Vice President of the United States. He served under Republican President Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961. Nixon ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1960, losing by a very close margin to Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he unsuccessfully ran for Governor of the State of California., and published his first book, “Six Crises.” After being dishearten for a time about these two political losses, he decided to be a presidential candidate in 1968 running a successful campaign against Democratic Hubert Humphrey with the one of the closest elections in the history of the United States. Seven days after the election on December 22, 1968 in New York City, the Nixon and Eisenhower families were forever united with the marriage of his daughter Julie to Dwight David Eisenhower III, the only grandson of former-President Eisenhower. His oldest daughter, Tricia, was married in the White House Rose Garden in 1971 to attorney, Edward Cox. Running for re-election in 1972, he ran against Democrat George McGovern, winning with a landslide sixty percent of the popular vote with every state except Massachusetts. Very soon after the election, an investigation was started because the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office Complex in Washington D.C. was burglarized by five men in July of 1972. Prior to the election, the offices had been bugged to tape record conversations. The crime was traced to officials of the Committee to Re-elect the President. At this point, several of his administrative staff resigned, yet some were later convicted of offenses related to a cover-up. Nixon denied any personal involvement in the crime, yet when the Supreme Court forced him to surrender his Oval Office tape recordings to the Senate hearings, his involvement was clear. Face with impeachment, he resigned from the Presidency on August 9, 1974. Since Vice President Spiro T. Agnew had resigned in 1973 as a result of an unrelated scandal, House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford was nominated by Nixon as a replacement for Vice President and Congress approved. With Nixon's resignation, Ford became President of the United States. Under disgrace, he and his wife quietly retired to their home, La Casa Pacifica in San Clemente, California. On September 8, 1974 President Ford would give a full and unconditional pardon to Nixon, which kept him from going to prison. In August of 1977, a series of interviews were started by British journalist David Frost and made public in four television programs. The interviews were met with mixed reviews as Nixon never admitted any wrongdoings. In 1978 he published his best-selling book, “RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon.” which was intensely personal about his political career and the White House years. He published more books on his opinions of international affairs and American foreign-policy, which earned him the position of a foreign-policy expert. He authored ten books total with the last being “Beyond Peace” in 1994. His wife, Pat, died of lung cancer on June 22, 1993, and ten months later he died of a massive stroke while in New York City. Numerous biographies have been published about Nixon's life, each with a different viewpoint along with the author's opinions. Since history remembers him as the first United States President to resign, many of the books cover the Watergate Scandal in detail.
Bio by: Linda Davis
1912–1993 (m. 1940)
The greatest honor history can bestow
is the title of peacemaker