Richard Nixon life and biography

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Richard Nixon biography

Date of birth : 1913-01-09
Date of death : 1994-04-22
Birthplace : Yorba Linda, California, USA
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-05-27
Credited as : President of the U.S.A., Politician, Six Crises

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Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States from 1969–1974 and was also the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961). Nixon was the only President to resign the office and also the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. After completing his undergraduate work at Whittier College, he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and returned to California to practice law in La Habra. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the United States Navy, serving in the Pacific theater, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during World War II. He was elected in 1946 as a Republican to the House of Representatives representing California's 12th Congressional district, and in 1950 to the United States Senate. He was selected to be the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party nominee, in the 1952 Presidential election, becoming one of the youngest Vice Presidents in history. He waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, and an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of California in 1962; following these losses, Nixon announced his withdrawal from political life. In 1968, however, he ran again for president of the United States and was elected.

The most immediate task facing President Nixon was a resolution of the Vietnam War. He initially escalated the conflict, overseeing incursions into neighboring countries, though American military personnel were gradually withdrawn and he successfully negotiated a ceasefire with North Vietnam in 1973, effectively ending American involvement in the war. His foreign policy initiatives were largely successful: his groundbreaking visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he implemented new economic policies which called for wage and price control and the abolition of the gold standard. He was reelected by a landslide in 1972. In his second term, the nation was afflicted with economic difficulties. In the face of likely impeachment for his role in the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. He was later pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford, for any federal crimes he may have committed while in office.

In his retirement, Nixon became a prolific author and undertook many foreign trips. His work as an elder statesman 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.

Even as the 37 th President of the United States, Richard Nixon’s political career was both up and down. During its lowest points, it was marred with accusations of impropriety and scandal. Watergate, however, was the end of the road once tapes were found that proved Nixon had been attempting to use the CIA to block FBI investigations. He became the only president to resign from office.


Born to a service-station owner and operator, young Richard had a regular childhood growing up, mostly in California. His mother was strictly religious and taught him about the values of Quakerism – which shunned war and violence. These ideals would help him formulate his stance in regards to the Vietnam War – a war he inherited in the 1970s from his predecessors. As a young man, Nixon graduated from Duke University Law School in North Carolina and began practicing law in California. He met his future wife, Pat Nixon, a teacher, as they both were involved in the local theater.


Richard Nixon started his political career by venturing to Washington to join the Price Administration. Next, he joined the Navy and became a lieutenant commander. He won popularity for his excellent debating skills and became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also participated in the House of Un-American Activities and was involved in the highly publicized case against Alger Hiss, who was accused of perjury.


Nixon earned the nickname “Trick Dick” when he began passing around fliers that accused his opponents of “leftist” behaviors. He gained a spot on Eisenhower’s presidential ticket because of his popularity in the western states. While serving in office with Eisenhower, he was kept out of the president’s inner loop on most issues. His main duties were campaigning and raising funds for candidates. Nixon also toured Latin America and Russia on diplomatic missions.


Nixon ran against John F. Kennedy in the presidential elections of 1960. Although poised, confident, and well spoken during the heated and televised presidential debates, Kenney possessed the youth and pizzazz that American audiences wanted and thereby won the presidential election by only 120,000 votes.


Returning to his home state, Nixon wrote the best-selling Six Crises and lost an election as governor of California. Announcing his retirement from politics, Nixon went to practice law once again. However, he went on to win the presidential election, and his administration did much for the welfare system and started the first acts of affirmative action in the government. The U.S. economy wasn’t doing well, and with his landslide victory to serve as president a second time, Nixon’s involvement and attempted cover up of the burglary of the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate Scandal meant that his resignation was imminent. Gerald Ford, who was named the next President, pardoned Nixon and others involved.



Legacy

No other American has held office in the executive branch of the federal government as long as Richard Nixon did. He is the only person in American history to appear on the Republican Party's presidential ticket five times, to secure the Republican nomination for president three times, and to have been elected twice to both the vice presidency and the presidency. With Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Richard Nixon was the chief builder of the modern Republican party. From 1952 to 1992, at least one of these three men appeared on the Republican ticket for nine of the eleven presidential elections. Throughout his career, he was instrumental in moving the party away from the control of isolationists and as a Congressman was a persuasive advocate of containing Soviet Communism.

Although he did not achieve all that he had wished for in the Middle East, Nixon virtually expelled the Soviet Union from the region and initiated a long peace process. He began formal relations with China and improved relations with the Soviet Union. Domestically, he decentralized government by revenue sharing, greatly reduced segregation in schools, reduced inflation (until it rose again as a result of the oil cartels), ended the gold standard, reduced the crime rate, and pioneered positive environmental measures. As a result of the Watergate scandal, however, the mood of the nation was severely affected and the office of the presidency was demeaned.

Though often referred to as a "conservative" in politics because of his "Southern strategy" and his victory in numerous southern states in 1968, Nixon had a considerable share of detractors on the right of the political spectrum. Columnist George Will questioned Nixon's conservatism, citing the wage-and-price controls as "the largest peacetime instrusion of government in the economy in American history, surpassing even the dreams of the New Dealers."

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