Who said: "Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion." - Richard Nixon

Born in California in 1913, Nixon attended Whittier College and Duke University Law School before beginning the practice of law. In 1940, he married Patricia Ryan; they had two daughters, Patricia and Julie. During World War II, he served as a Navy lieutenant commander in the Pacific.

On leaving the service, he was elected to Congress from his California district, and in 1950 won a Senate seat. Two years later, General Eisenhower selected Nixon, age 39, to be his running mate. Nixon served as Vice President to Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961.

He lost his bid for President, to John F. Kennedy, in 1960. In 1968, he defeated Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to become President of the USA.

Nixon's first term in office saw the end of American fighting in Viet Nam and the end of the draft, the first American moon landing, and improved relations with the USSR and China. Nixon also introduced new anti-crime laws and a broad environmental program.

Within a few months of Nixon's second term his administration was embattled in the 'Watergate' scandal, stemming from a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee during the 1972 campaign. The break-in was traced to officials of the Committee to Re-elect the President. Nixon denied any personal involvement, but the courts forced him to yield tape recordings which indicated that he had, in fact, tried to divert the investigation.

As a result of unrelated scandals in Maryland, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in 1973, and House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford became Vice President.

Faced with impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, so that the "process of healing which is so desperately needed in America." could begin.

In the years that followed, Nixon tried hard to establish himself as an elder statesman but many Americans who had lived through the constitutional crisis spawned by Watergate saw the rehabilitation quest as an attempt to downplay his complicity.

Carl Bernstein, one of the journalists who helped break the Watergate story, says "One of the things that happened is, after he left office, he began gradually taking back the notion that he had done anything wrong."

However, Nixon biographer Irwin Gellman points out that many people in the media and academic world "simply don't want to reflect on the positive side of this man and basically look upon whatever he did that was anything more than negative as irrelevant."

Nixon died on April 22, 1994, having written numerous books on his experiences in public life and on foreign policy.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

There is no science without fancy and no art without fact

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.