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The Political Career Of Richard Nixon

2652 words - 11 pages

Richard Nixon served as the 37th president of the United States. He is well known for the infamous Watergate scandal and was remembered by the American people as the first president to resign from office. However, he is also undoubtedly one of the most influential political figures when it comes to guiding the nation through one of its toughest time periods in history, as well as breaking the ice on foreign diplomacy with socialist countries such as China and the Soviet Union. Despite his downfall involving the Watergate Hotel, he had dedicated a tremendous amount of effort in domestic and world politics; and made numerous contributions during his life as a politician, which would give enough reason for future historians to believe that the second half of the twentieth century is truly “the age of Nixon”.
Richard Milhous Nixon was born into a poor family on January 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California, and was raised in the nearby small town of Whittier. His mother, Hannah Milhous, was well educated and a religious member of the Quaker Society, while his father Francis Anthony Nixon was uneducated, had no steady jobs, and was accused of being quarrelsome with nearly everyone around him (American President, http://www.americanpresident.org/history/). Nixon was very introvert as a child. He had a difficult early life with series of hardships, which made a lasting effect on his character and personality. He did not fit in with most of his peers and had a lifelong difficulty of trusting people outside of his family (Nixon, 1978, 5-15). His anger was kept inside of him, which motivated him to develop a sense of competition and struggle, and inspired him to excel in school. He became the valedictorian of his grammar school and was an excellent debater in Whittier High School. It was also there that he met first long-term girlfriend, Ola Florence Welch. Ola Florence was known for her beauty and strong character, with a brain to match. The two quickly fell in love and stayed together for six years. Ola Florence became engaged to Nixon in 1933. However, their romance fizzled as Ola Florence broke off their engagement in 1935 (Aitken, 1993, 58-65).
Nixon studied at Whittier College in California and graduated in 1934. He went on to pursue his study of law at Duke University Law School in North Carolina. After graduating third in his class in 1937 (American President, http://www.americanpresident.org/history/), Nixon practiced law as an attorney in office in Whittier, California, and later in Washington D.C. (Biographical information, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=N000116). On the night of January 16, 1938, Richard Nixon fell in love once again, this time with the blonde, lovely Thelma Ryan who was nicknamed “Pat”. After dating for more than two years, the two were married on June 21, 1940, at the Mission Inn, Riverside, which was located thirty miles east of Los Angeles, and soon had two daughters named Tricia and Julie (Aitken,...

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