Spiro Theodore Agnew
|39th Vice President of the United States|
January 20, 1969 – October 10, 1973
|Preceded by||Hubert Humphrey|
|Succeeded by||Gerald Ford|
|55th Governor of Maryland|
January 25, 1967 – January 7, 1969
|Preceded by||J. Millard Tawes|
|Succeeded by||Marvin Mandel|
|3rd Baltimore County Executive|
|Preceded by||Christian H. Kahl|
|Succeeded by||Dale Anderson|
|Born||November 9, 1918|
|Died||September 17, 1996 (aged 77)|
James Rand Agnew
|Alma mater||Johns Hopkins University|
University of Baltimore School of Law
|Awards||Bronze Star Medal|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Spiro Theodore Agnew (November 9, 1918 – September 17, 1996) was the 39th Vice President of the United States. He served under President Richard Nixon. He was also the 55th governor of the state of Maryland and the first Greek American governor in United States history.
He is most famous for his resignation in the fall of 1973 after he was under investigation for the crimes of extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy. In October he was charged with having taken bribes of more than $100,000 while in office.
Agnew is the only U.S. Vice President in history to leave office because of criminal charges. Ten years later, in January 1983, he paid the state of Maryland almost $270,000 as a result of a civil suit that came from the bribery allegations. He was only the second vice president to resign the office (John C. Calhoun had been the first).
In later life he wrote two memoirs. Both defended his corrupt actions.
Early life[change | change source]
Spiro Agnew was born in Baltimore, in the state of Maryland. His father was Theodore Spiros Agnew, a Greek immigrant who shortened his name from Anagnostopoulos when he moved to the USA (which was between 1897 and 1902), and Margaret Akers, a native of Virginia. He joined the US Army and served in both World War II and the Korean War.
Career[change | change source]
After holding a number of political offices in Baltimore, he ran for Baltimore County Executive in 1962. In a race that was thought to go to the Democratic Party Agnew surprisingly won. While executive he was known for outlawing racial segregation. He ran for Governor in 1966. His opponent was George Mahoney, who ran on a racist and pro segregationist platform. Agnew won after many Democrats voted for him. While governor he passed tax reform, justice reform, anti pollution laws, and civil rights laws. He also took a tough stand against the black power movement, and this angered many civil rights leaders who had supported him.
Agnew was chosen as Richard Nixon's running mate in 1968. Nixon wanted to do better in the Southern States. Agnew, a moderate, also could get Democrats to vote for him. He was chosen as vice presidential candidate at the convention over George Romney. Agnew supported "law and order" a policy of enforcing the law strictly. Agnew took a hard stand against the anti-war movement. His sometimes dirty attacks led him to be called Nixon's "hatchet man". However he did speak out against the Kent State Shooting, where national guard troops shot protestors to death in Ohio.
Agnew enjoyed the privileges of being vice president. He was well liked by Nixon supporters, and made it onto the Republican national ticket again in 1972. But in 1973, it became clear that Agnew had been very corrupt in his career as governor and was facing several felony charges. He cut a plea deal and narrowly got out of having to serve a long time in prison.
Resignation, Disgrace and Death[change | change source]
He resigned in disgrace in October 1973, and never spoke to Richard Nixon again (Nixon would himself resign in 1974 over a similar scandal). Agnew became a disgraced figure and never was very much involved in politics after that. His portrait was taken down in the Maryland Governor's Mansion and his bust was not put up as a former Vice President. When both were put on display, many criticized the decision to display them. He died in 1996 of leukemia. He was not given a state funeral of any kind and had a small funeral service. He was buried at a cemetery in Maryland.
Electoral history[change | change source]
- Spiro Agnew (R) - elected unopposed
- Spiro Agnew (R) - 455,318 (49.50%)
- George P. Mahoney (D) - 373,543 (40.61%)
- Hyman A. Pressman (I) - 90,899 (9.88%)
- Spiro Agnew - 1,119 (83.95%)
- Gov. George Romney of Michigan- 186 (13.95%)
- Abstaining - 16 (1.20%)
- John Lindsay - 10 (0.75%)
- Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts- 1 (0.08%)
- James A. Rhodes - 1 (0.08%)
- Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew (R) - 31,783,783 (43.4%) and 301 electoral votes (32 states carried)
- Hubert Humphrey/Edmund Muskie (D) - 31,271,839 (42.7%) and 191 electoral votes (13 states and D.C. carried)
- George Wallace/Curtis LeMay (American Independent) - 9,901,118 (13.5%) and 46 electoral votes (5 states carried)
- Spiro Agnew (inc.) - 1,345 (99.78%)
- Abstaining - 2 (0.15%)
- David Brinkley - 1 (0.07%)
- Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew (R) (inc.) - 47,168,710 (60.7%) and 520 electoral votes (49 states carried)
- George McGovern/Sargent Shriver (D) - 29,173,222 (37.5) and 17 electoral votes (1 state and D.C. carried)
- John Hospers/Theodora Nathalia Nathan (Libertarian) - 3,674 (0.00%) and 1 electoral vote (Republican faithless elector)
- John G. Schmitz/Thomas J. Anderson (AI) - 1,100,868 (1.4%) and 0 electoral votes
- Linda Jenness/Andrew Pulley (Socialist Workers) - 83,380 (0.1%)
- Benjamin Spock/Julius Hobson (People's) - 78,759 (0.1%)
Death[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "U.S. Senate: Spiro T. Agnew, 39th Vice President (1969-1973)". www.senate.gov.
- "U.S. Senate - Art & History - Spiro T Agnew, 39th Vice President".
- Spiro T. Agnew - Encyclopedia Britannica (accessed 2007-10-13)
- "Our Campaigns - Baltimore County, MD Executive Race - Nov 06, 1962". www.ourcampaigns.com.
- "Our Campaigns - MD Governor Race - Nov 08, 1966". www.ourcampaigns.com.
- "Our Campaigns - US Vice President - R Convention Race - Aug 05, 1968". www.ourcampaigns.com.
- "Our Campaigns - US Vice President - R Convention Race - Aug 21, 1972". www.ourcampaigns.com.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Spiro Agnew|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spiro Agnew.|
- The 30th Anniversary of Agnew's Resignation As Vice President (University of Maryland)
- The Archives of Maryland collection of speeches, messages and other public papers during Agnews governorship 1967-69