Richard M. Nixon with Ham

Richard Nixon with Ham


NAME: Richard Milhous Nixon. Milhous was his mother’s maiden name.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nixon was 5 feet 11.5 inches tall and weighed 175 pounds. He had brown wavy hair, brown eyes guarded closely by thick eyebrows, a prominent ski nose, sagging jowls, and a slightly protruding jaw. From childhood he suffered from motion sickness and hay fever. Near the end of his term as president, he developed phlebitis in the leg. Nixon dressed conservatively, typically in dark suits.

PERSONALITY: The Nixon personality has become the subject of extensive psychology inquiry. In Nixon vs. Nixon (1977), Dr. David Abrahamsen, a psychoanalyst, described him as a man torn by inner conflict, lonely, hypersensitive, narcissistic, suspicious, and secretive. In In Search of Nixon (1972), Bruce Mazlish, a historian trained in psychoanalysis, concluded that the predominant characteristic of the “real” Nixon behind the public figure was a fear of passivity, of appearing soft, of being dependent on others. In Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character (1981), historian Fawn Brodie painstakingly sought to demonstrate that he was a compulsive liar and concluded: “Nixon lied to gain love, to shore up his grandiose fantasies, to bolster his ever-wavering sense of identity. He lied in attack, hoping to win…And always he lied, and this most aggressively, to deny that he lied.”

PRIMARY SOURCE: DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. 7th ed. Fort Lee: Barricade Books, 2009.

Richard M. Nixon with Ham

Lyndon JohnsonGerald Ford