Known to be one of the most influential vice-presidents in the history of the United States of America, Dick Cheney is an illustrious politician and businessman and has been active in politics for over four decades now. Although he was a Democrat initially, he became a Republican, so that he could work with former president George W. Bush, whom he adored. He started out as an intern and went on to don many hats during the presidential terms of Ford, Nixon, and Bush. He influenced the decisions of the Department of Defense and has advocated many of Bush’s administrative policies. However, the most significant period in his political career was his partnership with Bush during the ‘Gulf War,’ the war on terrorism, the war in Afghanistan, and Iraq. He left office after Barrack Obama came to power and has since, expressed his contempt and disagreements with Obama’s administrative policies. His political career was largely defined by Bush and his policies, which had both positive and negative impact on the United States. He is also currently active in his business endeavors. Scroll further for more interesting information on this personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Dick Cheney was born Richard Bruce Cheney on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, to Marjorie Lorraine and Richard Herbert Cheney. He is of Irish, Welsh, English, and French Huguenot descent.
He studied at ‘Calvert Elementary School,’ before moving to Casper, Wyoming, where he joined ‘Natrona County High School.’
He studied at ‘Yale University’ and later attended the ‘University of Wyoming,’ where he earned a B.A. and M.A. in political science. Eventually, he joined the ‘University of Wisconsin-Madison’ for doctoral studies, which he did not complete.
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In 1969, during the Richard Nixon administration, he started serving as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger. Over the course of the following year, he also worked for Donald Rumsfeld.
From 1971 to 1975, he held a number of posts, including White House Staff Assistant and Deputy Assistant to the President.
He was then made Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford, and was allocated the position of campaign manager for the 1976 presidential campaigns.
From 1978 to 1989, he was consecutively elected to represent Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives. During this time, he was also elected as the Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and was elected to the House Republican Conference as the Chairman.
In 1987, he was also elected as the Director of the Council on Foreign Relations. After being nominated for the office of Secretary of Defense by President George H. W. Bush, Cheney went on to serve as the secretary of defense (SecDef) from March 1989 to January 1993.
He played an important role during the Gulf War from 1990-1991 and actively oversaw and was involved in ‘Operation Desert Storm’ under President George Bush.
After Bill Clinton came to power in 1993, he joined the ‘American Enterprise Institute,’ quitting the Department of Defense.
In 1995, he joined ‘Halliburton’ as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
In 2000, he headed the vice-presidential search committee for George W. Bush, who was serving as the governor of Texas at the time.
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During his first term as vice-president, the ‘September 11 attacks’ took place. He decided to keep a safe ‘physical’ distance from Bush, but nevertheless, agreed with the president on the ‘War on Terror’ campaign and remained resolute in his advocacy for the war.
On June 29, 2002, he served as the acting president of the United States, while Bush was undergoing colonoscopy.
On July 21, 2007, he served as the acting president once again, when President Bush underwent a medical procedure. On both occasions, he was the acting president for just a few hours.
He quit his position as the vice-president in 2009, during Barack Obama’s term as the president.
Despite being a strong opponent to Obama’s views and administration, he commended the president’s efforts that resulted in the capture and killing of the most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, in 2011.
In July 2012, Cheney organized a private fund-raiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and contributed to his presidential campaign.
Cheney has been the subject of many documentary films and mini-series. A 2018 biographical comedy-drama movie titled ‘Vice,’ which was written and directed by Adam McKay, had Christian Bale portraying Cheney.
Awards & Achievements
In 1991, he received the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ from President Bush.
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‘Brigham Young University’ presented him with an honorary doctorate of public service in April 2007.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1964, Cheney married Lynne Vincent, whom he knew since the age of 14. They have two children, Elizabeth and Mary, and seven grandchildren.
Cheney’s vice-presidency was turned into a four-part series by ‘The Washington Post’ in 2007. The series won the ‘Pulitzer Prize.’
He wrote his memoir ‘In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,’ outlining his experiences of the ‘Gulf War,’ ‘9/11 attacks,’ and Afghanistan. The book, which was co-written by his daughter Elizabeth, was published in August 2011.
After a history of heart disease, he underwent a heart transplant in 2012 in Virginia.
In 2015, Cheney published another book titled ‘Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.’ Co-authored by his daughter Elizabeth, the book describes the military success of the US military and chronicles the history of the United States.
Dick Cheney shot attorney Harry Whittington during a quail hunt in Kenedy County, Texas, in 2006.
His daughter Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Cheney acquired his former congressional seat in January 2017. In January 2019, she was elected as the Chair of the House Republican Conference.