Following his resignation, Nixon and his wife returned to their home in San Clemente, California, where they lived until moving to New York City in 1980. In 1981, they moved to northern Bergen County, New Jersey.
In retirement, Nixon traveled throughout the United States and dozens of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Mideast. In 1981, Nixon joined former presidents Ford and Jimmy Carter as an official representative of the United States to the state funeral of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat. On other trips, although formally a private citizen, Nixon's reputation as an elder statesman won him audiences with world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. In 1986, on one such private visit to Moscow, Nixon met with Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union. On his return, Nixon sent President Ronald Reagan a lengthy memorandum that contained Nixon's impressions of Gorbachev and suggestions for future diplomatic interactions with the Soviets.
In addition to his travels, Nixon kept up a full schedule of speaking and writing, completing nine books during his post-presidential lifetime. He also helped plan and build his presidential library and birthplace memorial in Yorba Linda.
Pat Nixon died of lung cancer in the early morning of June 22, 1993, in Park Ridge, New Jersey, with her husband and two daughters at her side. Funeral services were held at the Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California. Many notables, including California Governor Pete Wilson, Senator Robert Dole, and Rev. Billy Graham, spoke at her funeral.
Nixon died on April 22, 1994, in New York City and was buried in Yorba Linda, California on April 27, 1994. The eulogists at his state funeral were President William J. Clinton, Senator Robert Dole, Governor Pete Wilson, and Nixon's national security adviser and second secretary of state, Dr. Henry Kissinger.
To learn more about Mrs. Nixon, please see the biographies on these pages: