Thelma Patricia Ryan Nixon
March 16, 1912, in Ely, Nevada
June 23, 1993, in Park Ridge, New Jersey
Pat Nixon served as first lady throughout her husband Richard Nixon’s time in office from 1969 until he resigned before the end of his second term in 1974. Pat was 56 years old when she became first lady.
Pat’s time as first lady was highlighted by travel––with her husband and without. She in fact visited 83 nations and therefore traveled more than any previous first lady. Pat not only accompanied her husband on his historic visits to China and the Soviet Union, but she also traveled on her own to South America and Africa as an ambassador of good will. Rather than focusing on one cause of interest, Pat chose to advocate for several, including the continued renovation of the White House initiated by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and encouraging community volunteer work.
Even as Nixon’s presidency became overshadowed by scandal, Pat affirmed, “I believe in him, and I am proud of his accomplishments.”