Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the thirty-seventh President of the United States (1969–1974) and the only American president to resign from that office. He was also Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California and developed an interest in music. In the mid-1930s, he passed the bar exam and practiced law with a family friend. Amidst the outbreak of war in the early 1940s, he joined the United States Navy and served as a lieutenant commander in the Pacific during World War II. He was elected to Congress following his military service, specifically the House of Representatives, first representing California's 12th Congressional district, and later the entire state as Senator. He was chosen by party nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower to be Vice President in 1952, a position he began serving in the following year, until 1961. After an unsuccessful presidential run in 1960 and a failed run for Governor of California in 1962, Nixon was elected to the presidency in 1968, and reelected four years later.
Under President Nixon, the United States followed a foreign policy marked by détente with the Soviet Union and by the opening of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Nixon successfully negotiated a ceasefire with North Vietnam, effectively ending the longest war in American history. Domestically, his administration faced resistance to the Vietnam War. In the face of likely impeachment by the United States House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate for the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. His successor, Gerald Ford, issued a controversial pardon for any federal crimes Nixon may have committed while in office. Nixon is the only person in American history to be elected twice to both the vice presidency and the presidency.
Nixon suffered a stroke on April 18, 1994 and died four days later at the age of 81.