Donald Henry Rumsfeld is a businessman and politician in the US. After a term each as Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford as well as President George W. Bush, he qualifies as both, the youngest and oldest person in the position.
Donald Rumsfeld is the only US politician to have held the position of Secretary of Defense, twice, and non-consecutively. He took over from Robert McNamara as White House Chief of Staff, and remained in office from the administration days of Gerald Ford. He successfully served through the Nixon Administration, serving four whole terms in the House of Representatives. He was also the nation’s Ambassador to NATO. Along with these white-collared responsibilities, he served as a naval aviator between 1954 and 1957. He has played an active role as part of various councils and federal commissions.
Education and Personal Life
Donald Rumsfeld was born in 1932, in Illinois. As an Eagle Scout, he is the recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and the Silver Buffalo Award. He served as camp counselor and ranger too. He attended Baker Demonstration Middle School, and graduated from New Trier High School. He went on to Princeton University for further studies, and was also recognized as an amateur wrestler and a valuable member of the Football team. He authored a senior thesis called ‘The Steel Seizure Case of 1952 and Its Effects on Presidential Powers’, in college. Rumsfeld and Joyce Pierson were married in 1954, and live in St. Michaels, Maryland.
During the Eisenhower Administration, Rumsfeld was Administrative Assistant to David S. Dennison, Jr., in 1957. In 1959, he qualified as Assistant to Congressman Robert P. Griffin. Between 1960 and 1962, he completed a two-year stint with A.G. Becker, a banking firm. In 1962, he was elected to the House of Representatives, from Illinois. Subsequently, he was re-elected through the 1964, 1966, and 1968 polls by a majority. As part of Congress, he served on the Committee on Science and Aeronautics, Joint Economic Committee, Government Operations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Subcommittee on Military, and Japanese-American Inter-Parliamentary Council.
Rumsfeld served in the administration under Richard Nixon, between 1969 and 1970, as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, and Assistant to the President. He also took charge as Counselor to the President, Director of the Economic Stabilization Program, Member of the Defense Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group, and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council.
In 1974, under President Gerald R. Ford, he took over as White House Chief of Staff. He went on to become the 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld oversaw the execution of a volunteer military, the decline of the defense budget, upscale journey of the U.S. Conventional and strategic forces, new trends in U.S. military strength, and increased use of cruise missiles and B-1 bombers. In 1977, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award. He also served under President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Rumsfeld served as President, CEO, and Chairman of G.D. Searle & Company, Illinois, between 1977 to 1985. He focused on increasing the company’s turnover, and succeeded within months of taking over. He was awarded the ‘Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Pharmaceutical Industry’ by the Financial World and Wall Street Transcript. Between 1990 and 1993, he served as CEO and Chairman of General Instrument Corporation. He turned towards his own private business in late 1993. He founded the Project for the New American Century, a project targeting US Primacy.