Dick Cheney

Richard Bruce Cheney (/ˈni/CHAYN-ee;[1] born January 30, 1941) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 46th vice president of the United States from 2001 to 2009 under president George W. Bush. Cheney, often cited as the most powerful vice president in American history,[2][3] ended his tenure as an unpopular figure in American politics.[4] He is currently the oldest living former U.S. vice president, following the death of Walter Mondale in 2021.

46th vice president of the United States
“Richard Cheney” redirects here. For other uses, see Richard Cheney (disambiguation).

Dick Cheney

Official portrait, 2004
46th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 2001  January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Al Gore
Succeeded by Joe Biden
17th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
March 21, 1989  January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Deputy Donald J. Atwood Jr.
Preceded by Frank Carlucci
Succeeded by Les Aspin
House Minority Whip
In office
January 3, 1989  March 20, 1989
Leader Robert H. Michel
Preceded by Trent Lott
Succeeded by Newt Gingrich
Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
June 4, 1987  January 3, 1989
Leader Robert H. Michel
Preceded by Jack Kemp
Succeeded by Jerry Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming‘s at-large district
In office
January 3, 1979  March 20, 1989
Preceded by Teno Roncalio
Succeeded by Craig L. Thomas
7th White House Chief of Staff
In office
November 21, 1975  January 20, 1977
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Donald Rumsfeld
Succeeded by Hamilton Jordan (1979)
White House Deputy Chief of Staff
In office
December 18, 1974  November 21, 1975
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Landon Butler
Personal details
Born
Richard Bruce Cheney

(1941-01-30) January 30, 1941 (age 80)
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s)

(m. 1964)

Children
Education University of Wyoming (BA, MA)
Signature

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cheney grew up there and later in Casper, Wyoming.[5] He attended Yale University before earning a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science from the University of Wyoming. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations. He served as White House chief of staff from 1975 to 1977. In 1978, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and represented Wyoming’s at-large congressional district from 1979 to 1989, briefly serving as House minority whip in 1989. He was selected as Secretary of Defense during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, and held the position for most of Bush’s term from 1989 to 1993.[6] During his time there, he oversaw 1991’s Operation Desert Storm, among other actions. Out of office during the Clinton administration, he was the chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.

In July 2000, Cheney was chosen by presumptive Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush as his running mate in the 2000 presidential election. They defeated their Democratic opponents, incumbent Vice President Al Gore and Senator Joe Lieberman. In 2004 Cheney was reelected to his second term as vice president with Bush as president, defeating their Democratic opponents Senators John Kerry and John Edwards. During Cheney’s tenure as vice president, he played a leading behind-the-scenes role in the George W. Bush administration‘s response to the September 11 attacks and coordination of the Global War on Terrorism. He was an early proponent of invading Iraq, alleging that the Saddam Hussein regime possessed a weapons of mass destruction program and had an operational relationship with Al-Qaeda; however, neither allegation was ever substantiated. He also pressured the intelligence community to provide intelligence consistent with the administration’s rationales for invading Iraq. Cheney was often criticized for the Bush Administration’s policies regarding the campaign against terrorism, for his support of wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA) and for his endorsement of “enhanced interrogation techniques” which several critics have labeled as torture.[7][8][9] He publicly disagreed with President Bush’s position against same-sex marriage in 2004.[10]

. . . Dick Cheney . . .

Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Marjorie Lorraine (née Dickey) and Richard Herbert Cheney. He is of predominantly English, as well as Welsh, Irish, and French Huguenot ancestry. His father was a soil conservation agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his mother was a softball star in the 1930s;[11] Cheney was one of three children. He attended Calvert Elementary School[12][13] before his family moved to Casper, Wyoming,[14] where he attended Natrona County High School.

He attended Yale University, but by his own account had problems adjusting to the college, and dropped out.[15][16] Among the influential teachers from his days in New Haven was Professor H. Bradford Westerfield, whom Cheney repeatedly credited with having helped to shape his approach to foreign policy.[17] He later attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science. He subsequently started, but did not finish, doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[18]

In November 1962, at the age of 21, Cheney was convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). He was arrested for DWI again the following year.[19] Cheney said that the arrests made him “think about where I was and where I was headed. I was headed down a bad road if I continued on that course.”[20]

In 1964, he married Lynne Vincent, his high school sweetheart, whom he had met at age 14.

When Cheney became eligible for the draft, during the Vietnam War, he applied for and received five draft deferments. In 1989, The Washington Post writer George C. Wilson interviewed Cheney as the next Secretary of Defense; when asked about his deferments, Cheney reportedly said, “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.”[21] Cheney testified during his confirmation hearings in 1989 that he received deferments to finish a college career that lasted six years rather than four, owing to sub-par academic performance and the need to work to pay for his education. Upon graduation, Cheney was eligible for the draft, but at the time, the Selective Service System was not inducting married men.[22] On October 6, 1965, the draft was expanded to include married men without children; Cheney’s first daughter, Elizabeth, was born 9 months and two days later.[23][22] Cheney’s fifth and final deferment granted him “3-A” status, a “hardship” deferment available to men with dependents. In January 1967, Cheney turned 26 and was no longer eligible for the draft.[23]

In 1966 Cheney dropped out of the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin to work as staff aide for Gov. Warren Knowles.[24]

In 1968 Cheney was awarded an American Political Science Association congressional fellowship and moved to Washington.[24]

. . . Dick Cheney . . .

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. . . Dick Cheney . . .