Pat Nixon

Wife of Richard Nixon

Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan Nixon was the wife of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, and was First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974. Born in Ely, Nevada, she grew up with her two brothers in what is now Cerritos, California, graduating from high school in 1929. She attended Fullerton Junior College and later the University of Southern California.… Read More

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1912 Birth Born on March 16, 1912.
1914 2 Years Old After her birth, the Ryan family moved to California, and in 1914 settled on a small truck farm in Artesia (present-day Cerritos). … Read More


1929 17 Years Old After graduating from Excelsior High School in 1929, she attended Fullerton Junior College. … Read More
1930 18 Years Old She also earned money sweeping the floors of a local bank, and from 1930 until 1932, she lived in New York City, working as a secretary and Radiographer.
1931 19 Years Old Determined "to make something out of myself", she enrolled in 1931 at the University of Southern California (USC), where she majored in merchandising. … Read More


1935 23 Years Old She appeared as part of a brief walk-on in the 1935 film Becky Sharp, as well as the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld. … Read More
1940 28 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In 1940, she married lawyer Richard Nixon and they had two daughters. … Read More


1946 34 Years Old Pat campaigned at her husband's side in 1946 when he entered politics, running successfully for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. … Read More
1948 36 Years Old In 1948, Pat had her second and last child, Julie. … Read More


1952 40 Years Old During the Presidential campaign of 1952, Pat Nixon's attitude toward politics changed when her husband was accused of accepting illegal campaign contributions. … Read More
1958 46 Years Old A November 1, 1958, article in The Seattle Times was typical of the media's favorable coverage of the future First Lady, stating that "Mrs. Nixon is always reported to be gracious and friendly. … Read More
1960 48 Years Old 1 More Event
She assisted her husband in both his unsuccessful 1960 presidential campaign and later in his successful 1968 presidential campaign. … Read More


1962 50 Years Old In 1962, the Nixons embarked on another campaign, this time for Governor of California. … Read More
It has been said that few, if any, First Ladies worked as consistently before their marriage as did Pat Nixon. As she told the writer Gloria Steinem during the 1968 presidential campaign, "I never had time to think about things like that—who I wanted to be, or who I admired, or to have ideas. … Read More
1969 57 Years Old …  When they entered the White House in 1969, the Nixons began inviting families to non-denominational Sunday church services in the East Room of the White House.
1971 59 Years Old She also oversaw the White House wedding of her daughter, Tricia, to Edward Ridley Finch Cox in 1971. … Read More


Her tenure ended when, after being re-elected in a landslide victory in 1972, President Nixon resigned two years later amid the Watergate scandal. … Read More
Later, she visited Brazil and Venezuela in 1974 with the unique diplomatic standing of personal representative of the president.
1975 - 1976 2 More Events
1979 67 Years Old 1 More Event
…  She remained on the top-ten list until 1979, five years after her husband left office. … Read More
1987 - 1990 2 More Events
1991 79 Years Old 1 More Event
Pat also attended the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California in November 1991. … Read More
1992 80 Years Old A heavy smoker most of her adult life who nevertheless never allowed herself to be seen with a cigarette in public, she eventually endured bouts of oral cancer, emphysema, and ultimately lung cancer, with which she was diagnosed in December 1992 while hospitalized with respiratory problems.
Pat Nixon died at her Park Ridge, New Jersey home at 5:45 am on June 22, 1993, the day after her 53rd wedding anniversary. … Read More
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