Richard Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913  April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a representative and senator from California and was the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His five years in the White House saw reduction of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, détente with the Soviet Union and China, the first manned Moon landings, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Nixon's second term ended early, when he became the only president to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal.

Richard Nixon
37th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1969  August 9, 1974
Vice PresidentSpiro Agnew
(1969–Oct 1973)
None
(Oct–Dec 1973)
Gerald Ford
(1973–1974)
Preceded byLyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded byGerald Ford
36th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1953  January 20, 1961
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byAlben W. Barkley
Succeeded byLyndon B. Johnson
United States Senator
from California
In office
December 1, 1950  January 1, 1953
Preceded bySheridan Downey
Succeeded byThomas Kuchel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1947  November 30, 1950
Preceded byJerry Voorhis
Succeeded byPatrick J. Hillings
Personal details
Born
Richard Milhous Nixon

(1913-01-09)January 9, 1913
Yorba Linda, California, U.S.
DiedApril 22, 1994(1994-04-22) (aged 81)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeRichard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
(m. 1940; died 1993)
Children
Parents
Education
Occupation
  • Politician
  • lawyer
  • author
Signature
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Navy
Years of service
  • 1942–1946 (active)
  • 1946–1966 (inactive)
RankCommander
Battles/wars
AwardsNavy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Nixon was born into a poor family of Quakers in a small town in Southern California. He graduated from Duke Law School in 1937, practiced law in California, then moved with his wife Pat to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal government. After active duty in the Naval Reserve during World War II, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. His work on the Alger Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-Communist, which elevated him to national prominence, and in 1950, he was elected to the Senate. Nixon was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party's presidential nominee in the 1952 election, and served for eight years as the vice president. He ran for president in 1960, narrowly lost to John F. Kennedy, then failed again in a 1962 race for governor of California, after which time it was widely believed that his political career was over. However, in 1968, he made another run for the presidency and was elected, narrowly defeating Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in a close contest.

Nixon ended American involvement in Vietnam combat in 1973, and with it, the military draft, that same year. His visit to China in 1972 eventually led to diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he also then concluded the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union. In step with his conservative beliefs, his administration incrementally transferred power from the federal government to the states. Nixon's domestic policy saw him impose wage and price controls for 90 days, enforce desegregation of Southern schools, establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and begin the War on Cancer. Additionally, his administration pushed for the Controlled Substances Act and began the War on Drugs. He also presided over the Apollo 11 Moon landing, which signaled the end of the Space Race. He was re-elected with a historic electoral landslide in 1972 when he defeated George McGovern.

In his second term, Nixon ordered an airlift to resupply Israeli losses in the Yom Kippur War, a war which led to the oil crisis at home. By late 1973, the Nixon administration's involvement in Watergate eroded his support in Congress and the country. On August 9, 1974, facing almost certain impeachment and removal from office, Nixon resigned from the presidency. Afterwards, he was issued a pardon by his successor, Gerald Ford. In his almost 20 years of retirement, Nixon wrote his memoirs and nine other books and undertook many foreign trips, rehabilitating his image into that of an elder statesman and leading expert on foreign affairs. He suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994, and died four days later at age 81. Surveys of historians and political scientists have ranked Nixon as a below-average president.[2][3][4] However, evaluations of him have proven complex, as the successes of his presidency have been contrasted with the circumstances of his departure from office.


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