Miller Center

Presidential Image Gallery

First Lady Pat Nixon

November 20, 1969
Source: National Archives

Thelma “Pat” Ryan was born in Nevada in 1912.  After graduating from the University of Southern California, she worked as a school teacher in Whittier, California, where she met Richard Nixon. Despite refusing his proposal on their first date, the two were married two years later in 1940.  The Nixons had two daughters, Tricia and Julie, and were married 53 years. 

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