Donald Rumsfeld : biography
Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a four-term U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1962–1969), Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), Counsellor to the President (1969–1973), the United States Permanent Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975).
Born in Illinois, Rumsfeld attended Princeton University, graduating in 1954 with a degree in political science. After serving in the Navy for three years, he mounted a campaign for Congress in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, winning in 1962 at the age of 30. He was a leading co-sponsor of the Freedom of Information Act. Rumsfeld reluctantly accepted an appointment by President Richard Nixon to head the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1969; appointed Counselor by Nixon and entitled to Cabinet-level status, he would also head up the Economic Stabilization Program before being appointed Ambassador to NATO. Called back to Washington in August 1974, Rumsfeld was appointed Chief of Staff by President Ford, and soon successfully urged Ford to veto an expansion of the Freedom of Information Act, though the veto was easily overridden. He recruited a young one-time staffer of his, former Congressman Dick Cheney, to succeed him when Ford nominated Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense in 1975.
When Ford lost the 1976 election, Rumsfeld returned to private business life, and was named president of G. D. Searle & Company, a noted pharmaceutical company, during which time he led the legalization of Aspartame. He was later named CEO of General Instrument from 1990 to 1993, and chairman of Gilead Sciences from 1997 to 2001.
Rumsfeld was recommended for the position of Defense Secretary by incoming Vice President Dick Cheney in late 2000, and was appointed in January 2001 by President George W. Bush. His tenure has been noted to be one of the most pivotal in recent history; as one of the key individuals responsible for the restructuring of the military in the new 21st century, Rumsfeld was crucial in planning the United States’ response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which included two wars (one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq). Highly popular with the media for his outspokenness and candor, he gradually lost political support as the wars continued and resigned in late 2006. He has since published his autobiography Known and Unknown: A Memoir.
Donald Henry Rumsfeld was born on July 9, 1932, in Evanston, Illinois, to George Donald Rumsfeld and Jeannette (née Husted)., Donald Rumsfeld, 1946 His father came from a German American family that had emigrated in the 1870s,Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules (2009) pp 15, 16 but young Donald was sometimes ribbed about looking like a "tough Swiss".Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules (2009) pp 16, 31 Growing up in Winnetka, Illinois, Rumsfeld became an Eagle Scout in 1949 and is the recipient of both the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America September 2006 and its Silver Buffalo Award in 2006. From 1943–1945, Rumsfeld lived in Coronado, California while his father was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific in World War II. He was a camp counselor at the Northeast Illinois Council’s Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan in the late 1940s and a ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1949.
Rumsfeld attended Baker Demonstration School, a private middle school, and later graduated from New Trier High School. He attended Princeton University on academic and NROTC partial scholarships (A.B., 1954). During his time at Princeton, he was an accomplished amateur wrestler, becoming captain of the wrestling team, and captain of the Lightweight Football team playing defensive back. His Princeton University senior thesis was titled "The Steel Seizure Case of 1952 and Its Effects on Presidential Powers." While at Princeton he roomed with another future Secretary of Defense, Frank Carlucci.