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Statement on the Death of Thomas E. Dewey.

March 16, 1971

ALL AMERICA is poorer tonight for the loss of Governor Thomas E. Dewey--a great patriot, a distinguished statesman, and a fine human being.

New York will remember him as a man of the law whose service spanned four decades: enforcing the law as a prosecutor in the thirties, administering it as Governor in the forties and fifties, and practicing it privately right into the seventies. The Nation will remember him as a man of politics who led the loyal opposition with vigor and vision in the presidential contests of 1944 and 1948, and who played such a vital role in giving Americans General Eisenhower as their President in 1952.

For my own part, I will remember Thomas Dewey as a close personal friend and political associate for over 20 years. His wise counsel has been of immense value to me on many occasions during the years I served in the House, the Senate, as Vice President, and as President. I found invariably that when a problem was most difficult he could always be counted on to be at his best in giving his advice.

Governor Dewey was to have been a guest at the White House tonight, and the occasion is diminished beyond words for both Mrs. Nixon and me by his death. What consoles us, and what may help to console his family and countless friends, is the high distinction of his long life. John Quincy Adams' dying words--"This is the last of earth! I am content"--speak well the satisfaction which Thomas Dewey also deserved to feel in his full and varied career of service to this Nation.

Note: Governor Dewey, 68, died of a heart attack in Bal Harbour, Fla.

On March 19, 1971, the President attended funeral services for Governor Dewey at St. James Episcopal Church in New York City.

Richard Nixon, Statement on the Death of Thomas E. Dewey. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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