37. Richard Nixon

“Tricky Dick”

Presidential Basics

  • Full name: Richard Milhous Nixon
  • Years in office: 1969–1974
  • Political party: Republican
  • Vice president: Spiro Agnew (first term and part of second term); Gerald Ford (after Spiro Agnew resigned)
  • Age at inauguration: 56
  • Nicknames: “Tricky Dick”

Random Trivia

  • The musician: Nixon could play 5 instruments: Piano, clarinet, violin, accordion, and saxophone.

Birth & Death


  • Father: Francis Anthony Nixon (1878–1956); Gas station and general store owner
  • Mother: Hannah Milhous Nixon (1885–1967)
  • Wife: Thelma (Pat) Catherine Ryan (1912 – 1993)
  • Marriage: June 21, 1940 in Riverside, California
  • Kids: Two
    • Patricia (1946–)
    • Julie (1948–)
  • Home: San Clemente, California

Other Facts

  • Height: 5’11″
  • Eye color: Brown
  • Ancestry: Scotch-Irish, German-English Irish
  • Religion: Society of Friends (Quaker)
  • Born in a log cabin: No
  • Owned enslaved people: No
  • Freemason: No


  • Early education: Public schools
  • College degree: Yes
  • College: Whittier College (graduated with B.A. 1934); Duke University Law School (graduated with LL.D. 1937)


  • Military Service: Yes
  • Lawyer: Yes
  • Lawyer (1937–1941)
  • Attorney, U.S. Office of Emergency Management (1942)
  • Officer in U.S. Navy (1942–1946)
  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives (1947–1951)
  • Member of U.S. Senate (1951–1953)
  • Vice President: Eisenhower administration (1953–1961)
  • Lawyer (1961–1969)
  • President (1969–1974)
  • Writer


  • Six Crises
  • RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon
  • The Real War
  • Leaders
  • Real Peace
  • No More Vietnams
  • 1999: Victory without War
  • In the Arena
  • Seize the Moment
  • Beyond Peace


In 1968, the nominations were as historically significant as the election itself.  Richard Nixon was against an up and coming politician, Ronald Reagan, in his fight for the Republican nomination.  On the Democratic side, President Johnson withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, and Robert Kennedy was assassinated on the night he won the California primary.  And the Democratic convention in Chicago ended in riots.

In the end, Republican Richard Nixon faced Democrat Hubert Humphrey.  Nixon started with a large lead, thanks to the public’s anger over the Vietnam War.  However, by election day it was a close race.  Nixon won the race, becoming our 37th president.

In the election of 1972, incumbent Nixon faced South Dakota senator George McGovern.  Nixon’s early lead only increased when it was discovered that McGovern’s running mate had a history of mental illness.  Nixon also parlayed his diplomatic gains as president into big election day returns. Nixon won 49 of 50 states, losing only Massachusetts.  However, the big win for Nixon would be marred by the Watergate scandal.

Campaign Poster

Nixon’s the One! poster, 1968 (Library of Congress)


© 2021 Periodic Presidents, PJ and Jamie Creek