Spiro Agnew

Agnew, Spiro Theodore

Spiro Theodore Agnew (spēr´ō), 1918–96, 39th Vice President of the United States (1969–73), b. Baltimore. Admitted to the bar in 1949, he entered politics as a Republican and was elected (1961) chief executive of Baltimore co. He later became (1967) governor of Maryland, where he won passage of an open housing law and expanded the state's antipoverty programs. Nominated (1968) for the vice presidency on the Republican ticket with Richard M. Nixon, Agnew campaigned on a law-and-order platform. As Vice President, he attacked opponents of the Vietnam War as disloyal, criticized intellectuals and college students for questioning traditional values, and frequently accused the media of biased news coverage. In the 1970 congressional campaigns, he campaigned against liberals and antiwar candidates in both parties. Reelected with Nixon in 1972, Agnew was forced to resign on Oct. 10, 1973, after a Justice Dept. investigation uncovered evidence of corruption during his years in Maryland politics; he was said to have continued to accept bribes while Vice President. He pleaded no contest to a charge of federal income tax evasion, was sentenced to three years' probation and fined $10,000, and was disbarred (1974) in Maryland.

See biographies by J. Alright (1972), T. Lipmann (1972), and J. Witcover (1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Spiro Agnew: Selected full-text books and articles

American Prince, American Pauper: The Contemporary Vice Presidency in Perspective By Marie D. Natoli Greenwood Press, 1985
Librarian’s tip: "The Vice-President as Administration Spokesman: The Rise of Spiro Agnew" begins on p. 150
A Dictionary of Political Biography By Dennis Kavanagh Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Agnew, Spiro" begins on p. 4
The Nixon Presidency: Power and Politics in Turbulent Times By Michael A. Genovese Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Spiro Agnew begins on p. 173
Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising By Kathleen Hall Jamieson Oxford University Press, 1996 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Spiro Agnew begins on p. 237
The Watergate Crisis By Michael A. Genovese Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Agnew, Spiro T. ( 1918-1996)" begins on p. 129
Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 By Kenneth D. Durr University of North Carolina Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Spiro Agnew begins on p. 141
Political Leadership for the New Century: Personality and Behavior among American Leaders By Linda O. Valenty; Ofer Feldman Praeger, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Cloak and Swagger: Personality and Leadership in the Vice Presidency of Spiro T. Agnew"
Nixon in the White House: The Frustration of Power By Rowland Evans Jr.; Robert D. Novak Random House, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XI "Agnew, Nixon and the 1970 Campaign"
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