Edward Nixon, the youngest and last surviving brother of former President Nixon, died Wednesday. He was 88.
The Richard Nixon Foundation announced that Edward Nixon, a Seattle geologist and Navy veteran, died at a skilled nursing facility in Bothell, Wash.
The former president’s daughters, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, remembered their uncle as “our family’s rock.”
“He was a source of guidance to our father, whose favorite little Eddie grew up into a renowned geologist with an infectious curiosity,” the daughters said in a statement. “He was always thinking, always working — never for his own benefit, but to uncover the answers to questions that science poses in our world.”
Edward Nixon worked on his brother’s presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972, when he was co-chairman of the Nixon reelection committee, and remained his ardent defender even after the former president’s resignation during the Watergate scandal.
A few months earlier, the younger Nixon testified at the 1974 conspiracy and obstruction trial of former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans and former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell in connection with a $200,000 cash contribution to the president’s 1972 reelection campaign.
An original member of the board of directors of the Nixon foundation, Edward Nixon was reportedly among those who felt the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum’s efforts to be more critical and truthful about his brother’s role in the Watergate episode tarnished his legacy.
The foundation temporarily suspended funding for programs at the Nixon library when it invited former White House counsel John Dean — who revealed Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover up — to speak in 2009.
Born in Whittier, Edward Nixon served as a naval aviator and helicopter flight instructor in the Navy. In 2009, he co-authored a book with Karen L. Olson about his brother and his life called “The Nixons: A Family Portrait.”
Edward Nixon is survived by two daughters, Amelie Peiffer and Elizabeth Matheny. His wife of 57 years died in 2014.