Richard Nixon (1913–1994) was the thirty-seventh president of the United States and the first chief executive ever to resign from office. Nixon was elected as a Republican from California to the US House of Representatives in 1946. During his eight years as a representative, he was a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee and involved in the Alger Hiss affair. In 1950 Nixon was elected to the US Senate, and just two years later he was elected vice president to Dwight Eisenhower. After serving two terms as vice president, Nixon lost a bid for the presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960. He ran again and won in 1968.

Nixon's presidency involved the continuation of US involvement in the Vietnam War, the improvement of relations with China, and arms agreements with the Soviet Union. Nixon was re-elected in 1972. During the campaign, members of Nixon’s re-election committee were involved in the burglary and attempted wiretapping of the Democratic Party’s national headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC. Nixon ordered a coverup of the Watergate scandal, but it was brought to light by the reporting of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward at the Washington Post. In February 1974 the House of Representatives approved an impeachment inquiry into the President’s actions. In August, facing almost certain impeachment, Nixon decided to resign from office. He was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford, who gave the former president an unconditional pardon. Nixon retired to private life and left behind a legacy as a strong foreign policy negotiator marred by scandal.

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