Birthday: November 9, 1918
Died At Age: 77
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Vice President Spiro Agnew, Spiro Theodore Agnew, Ted
Born in: Towson
Famous as: 39th Vice President of the United States
political ideology: Political party - Republican
Spouse/Ex-: Judy Agnew
children: Elinor Kimberly Agnew, James Rand Agnew, Pamela Lee Agnew, Susan Scott Agnew
Died on: September 17, 1996
place of death: Berlin
U.S. State: Maryland
education: Johns Hopkins University, University of Baltimore School of Law, University of Baltimore, Forest Park High School
Spiro Agnew was an American politician who served as the 39th Vice President of the United States, from 1969 to 1973, in the Republican administration of President Richard Nixon. Born in Baltimore to Greek immigrants, Agnew, after getting educated in the local public schools, attended the Johns Hopkins University. Thereafter, he studied law and later graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School; during this time he also served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. Then, he resumed his legal practice in Baltimore but was recalled for active duty during the Korean War and upon returning, Agnew gravitated into politics. He served as the county executive of Baltimore County and was later elected the Governor of Maryland. In 1969, he became the 39th Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket with President Richard Nixon, a position he retained for the next four years. Although, he was re-elected for vice presidency in 1972 but was later forced to resign from his second term after being charged with bribery, conspiracy and tax fraud. Rather than face trial, Agnew entered a plea of no contest to charges of evading income tax, and was sentenced to three years’ probation. After leaving office, Agnew worked as an international trade executive and also published a memoir.
Childhood & Early Life
Spiro Theodore Agnew was born on November 9, 1918, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., to Theodore Spiros Agnew, a Greek-immigrant restaurateur, and his wife, Margaret Akers. From his mother's first marriage, Spiro had a half-brother named Roy Pollard.
Agnew received his early education from Forest Park Senior High School in Baltimore. In 1937, he was enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University and studied chemistry for the next three years.
In 1940, he went to the law school at the University of Baltimore, where he attended night classes. While studying law, he managed his expenses with a day job at an insurance company.
In 1941, Agnew was enlisted into the peacetime Selective Service System and was subsequently drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1946, he returned to the law school and resumed his studies.
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In 1947, Agnew completed his law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1949. He started his legal practice at a Baltimore firm and subsequently began a private practice when he was recalled to active duty in 1950, to serve in the Korean War.
Upon returning from active military duty, Agnew resumed his law practice and became involved in Baltimore County's local politics. In 1956, he became a member of the Republican Party and began promoting its national and local campaigns.
In 1957, he was chosen to serve on the Baltimore County Board of Zoning Appeals on a one-year term. The following year, he was re-appointed for a three-year term and later served as the board chairman.
In 1962, he ran for the Baltimore county executive and was duly elected for the post, which he held until 1966. His term as county executive proved to be a success and his popularity increased over the years.
In 1967, he was chosen as the Republican candidate for the Maryland governorship and won the election. From January 1967 to January 1969, Agnew served as the 55th Governor of Maryland.
At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Agnew was chosen as the running mate alongside President Richard Nixon for following presidential elections.
On January 20 1969, Agnew was inaugurated as the 39th Vice President of the United States.
During his term as vice president, Agnew became known for attacking the opponents of Nixon’s administration through his outspoken speeches. He was also recognized for criticizing protesters of the Vietnam War, the press and political dissidents.
In 1972, Agnew was re-nominated for vice presidency and was duly elected for the post. However, early into his second term, Agnew was accused of being involved in extortion, bribery, and income-tax violations during his term as Maryland's governor.
In October 1973, after Agnew was charged, a plea-bargaining took place between Agnew’s lawyers and a federal judge. Agnes pleaded no contest in Federal court to one misdemeanor charge of income tax evasion and as a result, he was fined $10,000 and put on probation for three years. He was also forced to resign from the office and later disbarred by the state of Maryland in 1974.
Upon retreating from politics, Agnew became an international trade executive. During this time, he also published his own memoir titled ‘Go Quietly … Or Else’ (1980), and a best-selling novel ‘The Canfield Decision’ (1986).
As the Governor of Maryland, Agnew proved himself to be a progressive statesman. While in office, he worked to pass tax and judicial reforms, approved a more liberal abortion law, and increased funding for anti-poverty programs. Agnew also drafted the nation's toughest clean water legislation, repealed the state’s 306-year-old law banning interracial marriage, and passed legislation removing barriers to public housing.
Awards & Achievements
Drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, Agnew served with the 10th Armored Division in Europe and was awarded the ‘Bronze Star’ for his services to the country.
Personal Life & Legacy
Upon graduating from the army school in 1942, Agnew married Elinor Isabel Judefind, nicknamed Judy, whom he met while working for an insurance company. The couple had four children together: Pamela, James Rand, Susan and Kimberly.
Spiro Agnew died on September 17, 1996, at Atlantic General Hospital, in Berlin, Maryland, U.S., after being diagnosed with an advanced form of leukemia. He was interred at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, in Timonium, Maryland.