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      Richard Nixon

      Richard Nixon

      Highest Rated: 63% For No Good Reason (2012)

      Lowest Rated: 63% For No Good Reason (2012)

      Birthday: Jan 9, 1913

      Birthplace: Yorba Linda, California, USA

      Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the United States, is probably best known for being the only commander in chief to date to resign while in office. Born Jan. 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, Calif., he was the son of a gas station owner/grocer/farmer and his Quaker wife. He began his political career with a run for student body president at Whittier High School. He lost that race, but graduated second in his class and was offered a scholarship to Harvard, though he was unable to accept it due to the costs of living and travel. He attended Whittier College instead, followed by a full scholarship to Duke University Law School. When he returned to Whittier to practice law, he met Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan, whom he married in 1940. They had two daughters, Tricia and Julie. By 1942 Nixon's ambitions had grown beyond Whittier, and he and Pat moved to the nation's capital, where he worked in the Office of Price Administration. Opposing the New Deal philosophy, he left public service for the Navy, where he served as an aviation officer in the Pacific. After resigning his commission in 1946, Nixon was asked to run for Congress against a five-term Democratic incumbent. He won, and rose to national prominence as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee, notably leading the investigation into Alger Hiss, an ex-State Department official accused of spying. Increasingly popular with conservative Republicans, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower chose Nixon as his vice presidential running mate. The pair won in both 1952 and 1956. In 1960, Nixon was nominated for the top job, but lost an exceedingly close race to Sen. John F. Kennedy - some pundits say Nixon's performance on the first-ever televised debate worked against him, appearing pale, nervous and sweaty compared to Kennedy's calm, tanned demeanor. Nixon left Washington for California, famously telling the media "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore." His absence was short-lived, as he campaigned again, winning the 1968 nomination of the GOP, and ultimately the White House. But it was during Nixon's run for re-election that his political career would be indelibly tarnished, when operatives attached to his campaign staged a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. The president was implicated in the cover-up, and on Aug. 9, 1974, facing impeachment by Congress, Nixon resigned. A month later, he was pardoned by President Gerald Ford, formerly his vice president. Post-presidency, Nixon worked steadily to rehabilitate his image, serving as a consultant to both Republican and Democratic presidents. He died on April 22, 1994.




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