The Life and Times of Richard M. Nixon


Richard M. Nixon built a solid career as a politician, rising through the ranks to be Vice President under President Eisenhower and eventually became President of the United States. During his time in office he accomplished a great deal in the field of foreign policy, including establishing a working relationship with China. However, all of the goodwill built up with his presidency was tarnished by the Watergate break in and cover-up, which eventually led to his impeachment.

Richard Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. After earning a degree at Whittier College, Nixon attended Duke Law School in 1937. After Duke, Nixon returned to California and began to practice law. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, he enlisted in the Navy and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

After the war he returned to California and began his political career by being elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. He then moved on to a senate seat in 1950, and in 1952 was selected to be the Vice Presidential spot on the Dwight Eisenhower ticket. Eisenhower and Nixon were elected and served two terms.

When the 1960 Presidential elections came up, Nixon after his time as Vice President was the logical choice for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, he faced off against a rising star in the Democratic Party – John F. Kennedy. The 1960 Presidential election was memorable, including the famous debates between Kennedy and Nixon, with Kennedy ending up being elected President.

After losing the Presidency in 1960 and losing the race for Governor of California in 1962, Nixon took a break from politics. In 1968, when the Republican Party was looking for a candidate to face Lyndon B. Johnson, they selected Nixon. Nixon won the 1968 election and was a landslide winner in the 1972 election.

During his presidency, Nixon saw an end to the Vietnam War by successfully negotiating a treaty with North Vietnam and withdrawing U.S. troops from the country. President Nixon also was instrumental in opening trade agreements with other countries, including re-establishing relationship with China. In addition, during the Nixon years, the United States was a leader in the space race, and the country made significant strides towards equality among blacks and whites. 

However, the biggest mark on his legacy was the Watergate break in and cover-up. In June 1972, five men were caught breaking in the Watergate Hotel headquarters of the Democratic National Party. In the subsequent investigation, it was shown that the break-in and subsequent cover-up were orchestrated by leaders in the Republican Party, and that President Nixon had knowledge of the whole affair. As the U.S. Senate conducted hearings about the incident, public opinion turned against Nixon and people began calling for his impeachment. Instead, on August 9, 1974, Nixon resigned his office.

Upon leaving office Nixon primarily stayed out of the spotlight, with the exception of writing his memoirs and occasionally making a public appearance. In his later years, his health began to deteriorate and on April 18, 1994, Richard M. Nixon died from a massive stroke.

·       White House Biography of Richard Nixon

·       Nixon Library and Birthplace

·       Library of Congress Nixon Biography

·       National Archives of the Nixon Presidency

·       Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

·       Nixon Meetings in China

·       Richard Nixon Digital History

·       1960 Nixon – Kennedy Election

·       Nixon and Vietnam

·       Presidency of Richard Nixon

·       Impeachment of Richard Nixon

·       Timeline of the Events During the Nixon Presidency

·        Background Check

·       Nixon and Watergate Background Check Background Check

·       Nixon Resignation Speech

·       Richard M. Nixon