Richard Milhouse Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, was born on January 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. He began his career in law as an attorney in the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., where he saw firsthand the issues that government bureaucracy can cause. The incident had a profound influence on Nixon’s policies later in his political career. Faced with a potential indictment for his participation in the Watergate scandal, he became the first U.S. president to resign. He also served as vice president during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. Let us celebrate his birthday by discovering some interesting tidbits about him.
Richard Milhous Nixon
January 9, 1913
April 22, 1994 (age 81)
Richard Nixon was born on January 9, 1913, on his parents’ lemon ranch estate in Yorba Linda, California, and grew up in nearby Whittier. He was the second child among his brothers, and was born to Hannah Milhous Nixon and Francis A. Nixon. Due to his family’s financial constraints, he had to renounce his scholarship to attend Whittier College before joining a local law practice. In the United States, Nixon was commissioned as a naval officer. He was assigned to a fighter station in the South Pacific, first in Bougainville, then to Green Island. He also learned to play poker, which quickly became a favorite activity of his while serving in the military. Republican leaders in Whittier persuaded Nixon to seek a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Nixon was honorably retired from the U.S. Navy with the title of lieutenant commander. He ousted five-term veteran Democratic Congressman Jerry Voorhis in the election to represent California’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. General Eisenhower was elected President of the United States, where Nixon also served as Vice President. Nixon was voted in as the 37th President of the United States in 1968. His foreign policy sought to decrease international tensions by building new relationships with former adversaries. He began restoring diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, implemented a détente strategy with the Soviet Union, and pushed for domestic measures such as creating the Environmental Protection Agency and peacefully desegregating public schools in the South.
Members of Nixon’s administration paid individuals in 1972 to take files from Democratic Party offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., with the hope of discovering secrets that would help Nixon win re-election that year. Although the intruders were apprehended, the inquiry did not progress swiftly enough to prevent Nixon’s re-election in 1972. For a further two years, Nixon and others attempted to conceal their involvement, but with the Supreme Court intervening, Nixon was compelled to produce secret audio tapes he had recorded of his White House talks, which established Nixon’s culpability. He resigned from office in 1974. If he hadn’t, the House of Representatives would have undoubtedly impeached him — or officially accused him of malfeasance in office. Nixon relocated to New York City after leaving the White House, where he remained for the next 20 years. He eventually attempted to regain people’s trust by authoring books about government and politics. In the end, he was known more for his presidential power abuses than for his accomplishments. Nixon died on April 22, 1994, in New York City and was buried on April 27, 1994, in Yorba Linda, California.
While beginning his legal career in the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., Nixon experiences firsthand the challenges of government bureaucracy, which has a significant impact on the policies he would later enact throughout his political career.
Nixon is honorably dismissed from the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander.
Nixon ousts five-term veteran Democratic Congressman Jerry Voorhis and is elected to the United States House of Representatives to represent California's 12th congressional district.
Nixon is chosen as Vice President to General Eisenhower, who is elected President of the United States.
"Six Crises," Nixon's first book, is published.
Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States.
Nixon is re-elected with the biggest mandate in U.S. history, capturing 49 of 50 states and over 61 % of the popular vote.
President Nixon announces his resignation as president as a result of the Watergate incident.
Why We Love Richard Nixon
He's such a good sport
He was a football fan. He even played football when he was younger.
He loved dogs
Nixon loved dogs. When he and his family moved into the White House, he even took their two dogs, Pasha and Vicky, with them.
He loved sports
Nixon loved sports and, had he not been president, he would’ve pursued a career as a sports writer. He even threw the first pitch at the 1970 All-Star baseball game. Sounds like he knew how to have fun!
5 Surprising Facts
Five-time presidential ticket candidate
Nixon won four of the five elections — he was the victorious vice-presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, and he was elected president in 1968 and 1972.
He declined a Harvard invitation
Nixon was third in his class as a student and was awarded a tuition scholarship to Harvard, but his family required him to stay at home.
World War II
During his time in the Pacific, he had several administrative posts but did not encounter war.
A unique visit
Nixon's 1972 visit to China was notable because it allowed for harmonious relations to resume between the U.S. and mainland China.
A beautiful family!
He and Patricia — or ‘Pat’ — Ryan met at a community theater workshop in 1938, when they were both actors — they married in 1940 and had two gorgeous daughters, Patricia and Julie.
Richard Nixon FAQs
When did Nixon's tape-recording system go into effect?
From February 1971 through July 1973, the Nixon taping system was in effect.
Why did Richard Nixon quit as president?
As a result of the Watergate scandal.
What does ‘Watergate’ mean?
Watergate was a major political U.S. scandal that involved Nixon’s administration from 1972 to 1974.
Richard Nixon’s birthday dates