Richard Nixon was the 37th U.S. President, resigning from his post because of Watergate scandal.
Born on January 9, 1913, in California, he was a Republican Congressman.
He competed for the presidency in 1960 but lost to John F. Kennedy. Not affected by the defeat, he returned to the fold in 1968 and became the US President. In 1974, Nixon resigned due to Watergate scandal, and at the age of 81, he died.
He was the second of five children born to Frank Nixon and Hannah Milhouse Nixon.
Richard Nixon attended Fullerton High School but later got into Whittier High School. Offered a Harvard scholarship, the family of Nixon couldn’t afford travel expenses. Rather than going to Harvard, he studied at local Whittier College.
Upon graduation, he got a full scholarship to Duke University Law School. After earning a graduate degree, he returned to Whittier, practicing law.
Richard Nixon soon met Thelma Catherine (“Pat”) Ryan. Duo married in 1940 having two daughters, Tricia and Julie.
Running for the Presidency
He launched his presidency bid in early 1960, facing not much of competition in the Republican primaries.
His Democratic competitor was John F. Kennedy. He campaigned on his experience in addition to advocating a number of tax cuts.
The 1960 presidential campaign was historic, to say the least, thanks to the use of television, policy debates and so on. Kennedy in his youth was able to take advantage of this situation.
During the campaign, he looked tired. On an expected note, he narrowly lost the election.
After the election, he returned to California, writing a book Six Crises.
Richard Nixon announced his candidature as a president on February 1, 1968. His campaign got a positive start when President Lyndon Johnson declared he was not interested in another term.
He was able to come up with a coalition of Southern and Western conservatives at the time of the campaign.
Nixon portrayed quite a calm demeanor throughout the campaign, promising peace, the return of conservative values and America’s dominance over the Soviets.
In a three-way tussle, he won the election by more than 500,000 votes.
Watergate and Other Scandals
With Vietnam War coming to an end, he defeated his Democratic challenger, George McGovern, in a huge victory, getting more than 20 million more popular votes.
Richard Nixon looked invincible, although it seemed quite strange in retrospect, that his re-election campaign, the Committee was so worried regarding Democrats opposition that it regressed to covert spying.
Public opinion polls were clearly giving Nixon an upper hand.
During the 1972 campaign, rumors started to float regarding White House involvement in an isolated burglary of the Democratic National Election Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington.
Initially, he ignored the scandal coverage but by next year, the probe had mushroomed into a reality drama.
Officials of White House officials denied media coverage as misleading and biased, but the FBI eventually confirmed that the aids of Richard Nixon had attempted to sabotage the Democrats at the time of the election, and lots of them resigned in the face of criminal prosecution.
Nixon kept on saying that he was innocent. He reacted directly to the nation through televised press conference in November 1973.
The House Judiciary Committee started impeachment hearings against him in 1974.
Later this year, the Committee passed the first of three articles of impeachment against Nixon.
He resigned from the office on August 9, 1974.
Retirement and Death
Straight after resignation, he retired with his wife to settle in California, where Nixon spent a number of months disoriented and distraught.
Gradually, he got out of it and started forming the public-relations comeback. In August, he met with David Frost, British commentator for a number of interviews, not admitting any sort of wrong-doing. While the reviews of interviews were mixed, it contributed positively to the image of Nixon.
In 1978, he published RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, giving an overview of his personal life, professional career, and his tenure as a president. The book was a blockbuster hit. Nixon also authored lots of books on American foreign policy and international affairs.
On June 22, 1993, his wife died because of lung cancer. He was not able to take it, and after just 10 months, Nixon died of a massive stroke in New York City.