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Benson: The luck of the Irish

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Thelma Catherine Patricia Ryan is a very Irish name, and she had the red-hair to go with it. Born March 16, 1912, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, in Ely, Nev., her parents moved to Cerritos, Calif., when she was a child. After high school, she worked her way through the University of Southern California, taught at Whittier High School, and then married the lawyer Richard M. Nixon.


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