- NAME: Richard Nixon
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President
- BIRTH DATE: January 09, 1913
- DEATH DATE: April 22, 1994
- EDUCATION: Whittier College, Duke University School of Law
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Yorba Linda, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Richard Milhous Nixon
- AKA: Richard M. Nixon
- Nickname: "Tricky Dick"
- AKA: Richard Nixon
- Nickname: "Red Hunter"
- Nickname: "Slick Rick"
Best Known For
Richard Nixon was the 37th U.S. president and the only commander-in-chief to resign from his position, after the 1970s Watergate scandal.
Richard Nixon - Personality (2:25)
An inside look at how Richard Nixon's personality came to bear on his presidency and his legacy.
Richard Nixon served as Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower and was the Republican Nominee for President in 1960. He was elected President in 1968, won re-election in 1972, and resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.
Learn about the circumstances that lead to the famous Watergate scandal.
Learn about the famous Watergate scandal and how it could be traced back to President Richard Nixon.
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Though he had shaved, Nixon's "five o'clock shadow" appeared through the television cameras. His gray suit blended in to the studio's gray background in contrast to Kennedy's tailored dark suit. Due to the after effects of his illness, Nixon's sweat under the hot studio lights was picked up by the television cameras in close-ups as he responded to questions. Post-debate polls indicated that while many television viewers believed Kennedy had won the debates,
radio listeners indicated that they thought Nixon had won.
In November 1960, Richard Nixon narrowly lost the presidential election by only 120,000 votes. The Electoral College showed a wider victory for Kennedy who received 303 votes to Nixon's 219. Though there were some charges of voter fraud in Texas and Illinois and legal papers were filed, subsequent court rulings showed that Kennedy had a greater number of electoral votes even after recounts. Not wanting to cause a Constitutional crisis, Nixon halted further investigations. Nixon received praise for his dignity and professionalism in the face of defeat and suspicion that possible voter fraud had cost him the presidency.
Following the election, Nixon returned with his family to California, where he practiced law and wrote a book, Six Crises, which documented his political life as a congressman, senator and vice president. In 1962, various Republican leaders encouraged Nixon to run against incumbent Democratic governor Pat Brown. Nixon was at first reluctant to get into another political battle so soon after his disappointing defeat to Kennedy, but eventually decided to run. The campaign did not go well for Nixon. Some questioned his sincerity to be governor of California, accusing him of making the election a stepping stone back into national politics. Others felt he just wasn't enthusiastic enough. He lost to Brown by a substantial margin and many political experts characterized the defeat as the end of Richard Nixon's political career. He himself said as much, blaming the media for his defeat and lamenting, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore..."
After the California election, Richard Nixon moved his family to New York City, where he continued to practice law and quietly but effectively remade himself as America's "senior statesman." With his calm, conservative voice, Nixon presented a sharp contrast to the escalating war in Vietnam and the growing anti-war protests against it. He cultivated support from the Republican base, which respected his knowledge of politics and international affairs. He wrote a farsighted article for Foreign Affairs magazine entitled "Asia after Vietnam," which enhanced his reputation.
Yet, Nixon agonized whether or not to re-enter politics and go for another run at the presidency. He consulted friends and respected leaders like the Reverend Billy Graham for advice. Finally, he formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States on February 1, 1968. Nixon's campaign received an unexpected boost when on March 31, incumbent President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek another term.
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