Donald Rumsfeld was an American politician, businessman, and government official who served as the United States Secretary of Defense twice in his career. He was born on July 9, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois, and passed away on June 29, 2021. Rumsfeld attended Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1954. He then served in the United States Navy as a naval aviator and flight instructor from 1954 to 1957. Following his military service, Rumsfeld entered politics and served as a congressional aide before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois in 1962. He served four terms in [[Congress]] until 1969. ## Government service Rumsfeld held various positions in the [[Richard Nixon]] administration, including Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Counselor to the President, and Director of the Cost of Living Council. In 1973, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to [[NATO]], where he served until 1974. In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed Rumsfeld as his White House Chief of Staff. The following year, he was appointed the 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense, making him the youngest person to hold the position at that time. During his first tenure as Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld focused on modernizing the military and advocating for a stronger defense posture against the Soviet Union as part of broader anti-[[Communism]] policy. ## Private sector and return to government After leaving the Department of Defense in 1977, Rumsfeld entered the private sector and held various executive positions, including CEO of G.D. Searle & Company, a pharmaceutical firm, and later CEO of General Instrument Corporation. He also served as the chairman of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. In 2001, President [[George W. Bush]] appointed Rumsfeld as the 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense, making him the oldest person to hold the position. During his second tenure, Rumsfeld oversaw the U.S. military response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and played a critical role in planning and executing the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and the [[Iraq War]] in 2003. Rumsfeld's tenure as Secretary of Defense during the Bush administration was marked by controversy, particularly surrounding the management of the [[Iraq War]], the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, and his overall leadership style. He resigned from his position in December 2006. ## Post-government life After leaving government service, Rumsfeld focused on his memoir, "Known and Unknown," published in 2011. He also established the Rumsfeld Foundation, which provides scholarships and fellowships to support leadership and public service. After his controversial tenure as Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld is remembered as a key player in America's dramatic overreaction to the events of 9/11.