Richard Nixon endured the most public downfall of any president of the United States. His legacy will be forever tainted by the Watergate scandal. Unfortunately this means that the more positive aspects of his administration seem destined to be forgotten – it also means that his decades of service as a politician will be overshadowed.
Richard Nixon was born in 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. Both of his parents were Quakers, and their financial situation could be described as on the breadline. Richard did well at school, and he ended up going to Duke University School of Law – he turned down a scholarship at Harvard due to family problems. Nixon had hoped to join the FBI after graduation but for some reason he ended up sitting for the bar in California. In 1942 he signed up to join the navy, so that he could serve his country in World War II.
President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon first became involved in politics in 1945 when he began a campaign which led to him being elected to congress. He championed conservative causes such as new laws to limit the power of trade unions, and this won him many admirers in the Republican Party. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to select Richard Nixon as his vice-president, and he held this role until in 1961. At the end of his vice-presidency he ran for president but lost to John F. Kennedy. It was 1969 when he managed to become the thirty-seventh president of the US.
While serving as president, Richard Nixon ordered illegal activities in order to spy on people he didn’t trust. These dirty tricks were leaked to reporters from the Washington Post, and this led to the Watergate Scandal. Richard Nixon lied about his involvement, and when his lies became obvious he was forced to resign as president.
Richard Nixon after Watergate
Richard Nixon was unable to recover from the political fallout of Watergate. He did make a limited return to public life, and he continued to be viewed as an elder statesman by many in the Republican Party. Richard Nixon died in 1994 at the age of 81.