Donald Rumsfeld


Donald Rumsfeld : biography

July 9, 1932 –

On November 1, 2006, Bush stated he would stand by Rumsfeld as defense secretary for the length of his term as president. Rumsfeld wrote a resignation letter dated November 6, and, per the stamp on the letter, Bush saw it on Election Day, November 7. In the elections, the House and the Senate shifted to Democratic control. After the elections, on November 8, Bush announced Rumsfeld would resign his position as Secretary of Defense. Many Republicans were unhappy with the delay, believing they would have won more votes if voters had known Rumsfeld was resigning.

Bush nominated Robert Gates to succeed Rumsfeld . Retrieved November 8, 2006. and at a press conference announcing Rumsfeld’s resignation and Gates’ nomination, Bush remarked, "America is safer and the world is more secure because of the service and the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld."

On December 18, 2006, Rumsfeld’s resignation took effect. One of his last actions as defense secretary was to pay a surprise visit to Iraq on December 10, 2006, to bid farewell to the United States military serving there. In a farewell ceremony on December 16, 2006, Rumsfeld’s long-time political ally Vice President Dick Cheney, who worked with him in the Ford administration and who also had served as a secretary of defense, called the secretary "the finest secretary of defense this nation has ever had."

Including his time serving as the 13th Secretary of Defense under Ford from 1975 to 1977, Rumsfeld is the second-longest-serving Secretary of Defense in history, falling nine days short of the term of the longest-serving Pentagon chief, the Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara.

Retirement and later life (2006–present)

In the months after his resignation, Rumsfeld toured the New York publishing houses in preparation for a potential memoir. After receiving what one industry source labeled "big bids", he reached an agreement with the Penguin Group to publish the book under its Sentinel HC imprint.

In 2007, Rumsfeld established The Rumsfeld Foundation, an educational foundation that provides fellowships to talented individuals from the private sector who want to serve for some time in government. Rumsfeld personally financed the foundation.Michael Duffy, , Time magazine, May 18, 2007 The foundation has granted over 50 fellowships to graduate students from Central Asia, provided over $2.1 million in microfinance grants, and donated over $200,000 to charities for veterans affairs.

In September 2007, Rumsfeld received a one-year appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University,. Accessed October 10, 2007. Stanford Report, September 12, 2007. joining (among others) retired army General John P. Abizaid, former commander of U.S. Central Command, and fellow conservatives George Shultz and Newt Gingrich. He participated in the institution’s new task force studying post–September 11 ideology and non-state terror.

Rumsfeld declined to accept an advance for the publication of his memoir, and has said he is donating any proceeds from the work to veterans groups. His book, entitled Known and Unknown: A Memoir, was released on February 8, 2011.

In conjunction with the publication of Known and Unknown, Rumsfeld established "The Rumsfeld Papers", a website with documents "related to the endnotes" of the book and his service during the George W. Bush administration; during the months that followed the book’s publication, the website is being expanded to include "a number of other documents from [his] archive"; as of June 2011, the topics include his Congressional voting record, the Nixon administration, documents and memos of meetings while he was part of the Ford administration, private sector documents, and NATO documents, among others.

Rumsfeld was awarded the "Defender of the Constitution Award" at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2011. After leaving office, Rumsfeld repeatedly criticized former fellow Cabinet member Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State. In 2011 she finally responded, saying that Rumsfeld "doesn’t know what he’s talking about."

In February 2011, Rumsfeld endorsed the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, saying that allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve "is an idea whose time has come."


  • Speech given Mar 3, 1998 in Washington, D.C.