Arthur Nixon

Arthur Burdg Nixon (May 26, 1918 – August 19, 1925) was a brother of President Richard Nixon.

He was the fourth of five children:

  • Harold Nixon (June 1, 1909 – March 7, 1933)
  • Richard Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994)
  • Donald Nixon (November 23, 1914 – June 27, 1987)
  • Arthur Nixon
  • Edward Nixon (born May 3, 1930)

Arthur Nixon died in 1925: there has never been a satisfactory medical explanation of his ailment, but officially it was a result of encephalitis or tubercular meningitis. Arthur's death affected the family deeply. Richard Nixon spoke of his brother in a 1983 interview:

Nothing could be done about it, absolutely nothing. And so I recall so well, oh, the days before he died. And I recall particularly -- you hear of my father, this tough, rough, diamond in the rough. I'll never forget it. After the doctor, Doctor Wilson, from Whittier, had gone up and diagnosed the case, after they'd make a spinal tap and found that it was tubercular meningitis and said that there was no hope, he came down the stairs and my father said, "They say" -- he was crying uncontrollably. He says, "They say the little darling's going to die".

Richard Nixon also wrote an essay about his brother:

There's a grave now, out in the hills, but, like the picture, it contains only the bodily image of my brother. And so when I'm tired and worried and I'm almost ready to quit trying to live as I should, I look up, I see the picture of a little boy with sparkling eyes and curly hair. I remember the childlike prayer. I pray that it may prove true for me as it did for my brother Arthur.

He said once, "For weeks after Arthur's funeral, there was not a day that I did not think about him and cry. For the first time, I learned what death was like and what it meant."

Arthur Nixon was portrayed by Joshua Preston in the 1995 Oliver Stone film Nixon.

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