About the Author - Richard Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He was a member of the Republican Party, a representative and senator from California, and served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961. His five years in the White House saw the end 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. Nixon...

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He was a member of the Republican Party, a representative and senator from California, and served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961. His five years in the White House saw the end 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. Nixon's second term ended early, when he became the only president to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal. He 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. In 1968, he made another run for the presidency and was elected, defeating Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in a close contest. Nixon ended American involvement in Vietnam 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. His administration incrementally transferred power from the federal government to the states. He imposed wage and price controls for 90 days, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, established the Environmental Protection Agency, and began the War on Cancer. 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 the Watergate scandal escalated, costing him most of his political support. On August 9, 1974, facing almost certain impeachment and removal from office, he became the first American president to resign. Afterwards, he was issued a pardon by his successor, Gerald Ford. In 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. 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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