Only one president has ever resigned from office. Richard Nixon was the president on August 9, 1974. Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 37th president of the United States minutes after his resignation.
Nixon’s resignation is largely attributable to the illegal and clandestine actions his administration engaged in throughout his presidency. When officials of his administration were caught breaking into the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, the actions came to light. This controversy, known as the Watergate scandal, led to the loss of nearly all of his political support and made his impeachment extremely probable. As a result, Nixon announced his resignation via radio and television.