Richard Milhous Nixon was born to Hannah and Francis Nixon’s lemon farm in Yorba Linda, California, on January 9, 1913. Two of the family’s four other sons died as children. Richard Nixon was the second eldest among the five children born to his parents.
After the farm struggled, the family moved to Whittier, California; it is a city in California that is home to the Quaker community. There, his father opened a grocery store or gas station. The Nixons, on the other hand, remained poor, and the whole family had to labor in the shop to make ends meet. Richard had a difficult upbringing. Raised by a dominant mother and an often-violent father, Nixon absorbed aspects of both of his parents’ characteristics. Some scholars suggest Nixon’s desire to win stemmed from his youth and that he was compelled to claim to be “healthy” when using whatever methods were required to accomplish his objectives.
The Nixon sons were brought up in the Quaker religion, which prohibited drinking, dancing, and cursing. His father was said to be an abusive man who abused his sons on occasion. Richard endured his father’s dissatisfaction with their working-class condition. He grew a deep sense of optimism, but he also transformed into an insecure and reserved young man who performed best alone.
Richard started his education at East Whittier Elementary School, where he was voted eighth-grade president. He was sent to Fullerton Union High School for his secondary education after his parents blamed his former school for his older brother’s outrageous lifestyle.
Richard had to spend an hour on the bus, either way, to get to Fullerton. As a result, he began spending weekdays in the city with his aunt. He was a good student and took part in debates daily with the help of his English tutor, H. Lynn Sheller, who coached him on public speaking.
Sheller told him that public speaking is “conversation” and that yelling at people is inappropriate. He lived the majority of his life on this ideology, winning several debating championships. In volleyball, he was less fortunate, as though playing daily, he never got a chance to compete in tournaments.
Richard was sent home in September 1928, at the outset of his junior year, and enrolled at Whittier High School. During this time, the Nixons’ lives were complicated. His mother had sent his older brother to Arizona because he had contracted tuberculosis.
Richard had to wake up at four o’clock in the morning to buy produce for his store in Whittier, where he lived with his father and younger siblings. He first rode his truck to Los Angeles to purchase fresh fruit, then returned to the shop to wash and showcase the merchandise before returning to school.
He remained outstanding in studies and debate despite his various commitments at home. In 1930, he graduated third in his high school class of 207. Following that, he was awarded a tuition scholarship to attend ‘Harvard University,’ but he could not participate because he was already forced to work at his father’s store.
He enrolled at Whittier College in 1930, paying for his education with a grant from his maternal grandparents. He debated, played baseball, and football in college, but due to his ordinary past, he was rejected by Whittier’s literary society, the Franklins. As a result, he co-founded a new organization named the “Orthogonian Society.”
Richard Nixon earned a full scholarship to Duke University School of Law after graduating summa cum laude from Whittier College in 1934. Despite stiff rivalry among second and third-year students, he was able to keep his full scholarship during his time at Duke.
He excelled at Duke, where he was elected president of the student bar association and a member of the Order of the Coif. He earned a third-place finish in his class when he graduated in June 1937. Following that, he applied for a job with the ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’ but received no comment from the organization.
Richard Nixon returned to California in 1937 and entered the prestigious law firm of ‘Wingert and Bewley.’ He specialized in commercial law and estate planning. He avoided divorce proceedings because he disliked discussing sexual matters with women.
In 1938, he founded his own Wingert and Bewley branch in La Habra, California, and in 1939, he became a full partner of the company. He moved to Washington, D.C., in January 1942, to work for the Office of Price Administration’s tire rationing division.
Nixon enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a junior lieutenant on June 15, 1942. He earned two stars and several commendations for his devotion to service, ultimately rising to the rank of lieutenant commander despite not participating in direct combat. On January 1, 1946, he resigned from his commission.
Nixon served on the House Labor Committee and the Select Committee on Foreign Aid as a senator. In 1947, he and other members of the commission went on a tour of Europe. Nixon soon gained a reputation as a foreign policy internationalist, demonstrating that he could communicate well with other countries.
Nixon became a prominent anti-Communist crusader as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. While facing the challenge of Communism, Nixon attracted the attention of General Dwight Eisenhower, who selected him as his running mate in his victorious presidential campaign of 1952. Nixon was employed in part by Eisenhower in the expectation of gaining significant influence in the West.
Road to White House
Richard Nixon was sworn in as Vice President of the United States in 1953 when Dwight D. Eisenhower was sworn in as President. Eisenhower’s frequent illness in 1955 enabled him to steadily extend his position as vice president, despite his lack of influence.
Nixon presided over cabinet and National Security Council meetings while Eisenhower was away. He also traveled abroad and began devoting more attention to foreign policy. Around the same time, he started campaigning for the 1954 election. Republicans lost hold of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which is unfortunate.
As the President
Nixon moved to New York in 1963 and became a senior associate at the prestigious law firm of Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander. He did not break contact with politics, lobbying tirelessly for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964.
He agreed to run for President again in 1967, and he won the election in November 1968. On January 20, 1969, he was sworn in as the 37th President of the United States, defeating his closest challenger by almost 500,000 votes.
Resignation and Retirement
Nixon resigned from his office on August 9, 1974, and retired to his home in San Clemente, California, fearing a post-impeachment conviction. He was pardoned on September 8, 1974, by his successor, President Gerald Ford, whom he had named vice president in 1973.
What looked to be a minor robbery during Nixon’s last presidential campaign turned out to be the beginning of the end of his political career. Republicans are tied to a break-in at Democratic national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
Increasing political criticism pressured Nixon to release 1,200 pages of transcripts of communications between him and White House aides, despite his persistent denials. The House Judiciary Committee, which the Democrats dominated, began impeachment proceedings against him in May 1974.