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.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.