Richard Nixon Foundation

The Richard Nixon Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. It was founded in August 1983[1] by Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, and served as the governing body of the Nixon Library for nearly twenty years.[2] Today it operates the Nixon Library in conjunction with the National Archives and Records Administration,[3] which is an entity of the federal government of the United States, in addition to undertaking charitable and education-based activities.

Richard Nixon Foundation
FormationAugust 1, 1983; 37 years ago (1983-08-01)
HeadquartersRichard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
  • Yorba Linda, California
James H. Cavanaugh
President and CEO
Hugh Hewitt
Revenue (2015)

The Nixon Foundation founded, controlled and operated the Nixon Library from the library's dedication on July 19, 1990 until July 11, 2007, at which the Foundation invited the National Archives to take control.[2] The two entities signed a joint operating agreement which allowed the library to become officially known as the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, welcoming it into the national system of presidential libraries. This move allowed President Nixon's White House documents to be moved to his library in Yorba Linda.[2]

The Nixon Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, led by former Nixon White House domestic adviser James H. Cavanaugh. The board includes President Nixon's daughters Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, his brother Edward Nixon, former Ambassador George Argyros[4] former California Governor Pete Wilson, and longest-serving Vietnam War POW Everett Alvarez, Jr. The Foundation's President and CEO is nationally-known radio host Hugh Hewitt, who splits his time between Orange County and Washington, D.C. and plans to open a Nixon Foundation office in Washington.[5]

Nixon Library and Gardens

The Foundation has hosted United States presidents, first ladies and several vice presidents.[6] Also hosted have been public affairs commentators such as Bill O'Reilly, academics such as Doris Kearns Goodwin,[6] and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.[7]

The library includes "Meet the Presidents," in which presidential impersonators speak to several hundred school-aged children.[8] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Nixon Foundation brought 16 tons of warped steel from the World Trade Center and a damaged, first-responder FDNY firetruck to the Nixon Library for viewing.[9]

Before the National Archives took over its management, the Nixon Library had been accused by several media outlets of glossing over Nixon's 1974 resignation with "whitewashed" exhibits.[3] In 2007, the National Archives removed the 17 year old Watergate exhibit and, after three years, the new exhibit was scheduled to open in July 2010. The Nixon Foundation objected to the proposed exhibit, because the Nixon Foundation was not consulted in the way that other presidential foundations had been consulted with similar situations. The Foundation filed a 158-page memorandum to the Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries expressing their dissatisfaction[10][11] and NARA stated a committee would review the objection but gave no timeline for when that process would be concluded.[12] The exhibit opened on March 31, 2011.[13]


  1. ^ a b "The Richard Nixon Foundation Form 990 2015". ProPublica. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Flaccus, Gillian (July 12, 2007). "Federal Archivists Take Control of Nixon Library". The Associated Press. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  3. ^ a b Richard Nixon library offers candid new take on Watergate,, Associated Press, 31 March 2011, accessed November 2011
  4. ^ Argyros,, accessed November 2011
  5. ^ "Hewitt Announces New Events, Board Members, More". Richard Nixon Foundation. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Nixon Library and Birthplace Marks Anniversary: 1990-2010". Richard Nixon Foundation (Press release). PR Newswire. July 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  7. ^ Michael Mello (September 14, 2011). "Justice courts Nixon library crowd". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  8. ^ Jebb Harris (August 16, 2011). "Richard Nixon's brother plays the president". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  9. ^ "16 Tons Of World Trade Center Wreckage To Act As Centerpiece Of 9/11 Tribute At Nixon Library". CBS2/KCAL9 News. September 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  10. ^ Walker, Ronald H. (August 2, 2010). "Memorandum for Sharon Fawcett, Assistant Archivist, Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives and Records Administration" (PDF). National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  11. ^ "Watergate Becomes Sore Point at Nixon Library", by Adam Nagourney, The New York Times, August 6, 2010 (August 7, 2010 p. A1 NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  12. ^ Terrell, Jessica. Editorial weighs in on Nixon exhibit controversy, The Orange County Register, August 11, 2010.
  13. ^ "Nixon Library Opens a Door Some Would Prefer Left Closed", by Adam Nagourney, "The New York Times", March 31, 2011 (April 1, 2011 p.A19 NY ed.). Retrieved 2011-04-01.

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