Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994), the 37th President of the United States, served from 1969 to 1974, when he became the only president to resign the office. A member of the Republican Party, Nixon had previously served as a U.S. Representative and Senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. He graduated from Whittier College in 1934 and Duke University School of Law in 1937, returning to California to practice law. He and his wife, Pat Nixon, moved to Washington to work for the federal government in 1942. He subsequently served in the United States Navy during World War II. Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives from California in 1946, reelected in 1948 and elected to the Senate in 1950. His pursuit of the Alger Hiss case established his reputation as a leading anti-communist and elevated him to national prominence. He became Republican presidential nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower's running mate in the 1952 and 1956 elections and served as Vice President for eight years. He waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to Democrat John F. Kennedy. After losing a race for Governor of California in 1962, he ran again for the presidency, winning the 1968 election.
Although Nixon initially escalated America's involvement in the Vietnam War, he subsequently ended U.S. involvement by 1973. Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened communications between the two nations and eventually led to the normalization of diplomatic relations. He initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year. Domestically, his administration generally embraced policies that transferred power from Washington to the states. Among other things, he launched initiatives to fight cancer and illegal drugs, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, implemented environmental reforms, and introduced legislation to reform healthcare and welfare. Though Nixon presided over the lunar landings beginning with Apollo 11, as well as launch of Skylab, his administration cut the number of Apollo missions back by three, in part to pay for the Space Shuttle. Voters re-elected him in an electoral landslide in 1972.
Nixon's second term saw a crisis in the Middle East, resulting in an oil embargo and the restart of the Middle East peace process, as well as a continuing series of revelations about the Watergate scandal. The scandal escalated, costing Nixon much of his political support, and on August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of almost certain impeachment and removal from office.
After his resignation, he accepted a pardon issued by his successor, Gerald Ford. In retirement, Nixon's work as an elder statesman, authoring nine books and undertaking many foreign trips, helped to rehabilitate his public image. He suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994, and died four days later at the age of 81.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license
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