Former Vice President of the United States
Across four decades of public life, Dick Cheney has served at the highest levels of government during some of the most critical days in modern American history.
In the post-Watergate administration of Gerald Ford, the president turned to 34-year-old Dick Cheney to lead the White House staff in the work of restoring the nation’s confidence and waging the president’s 1976 campaign.
After leaving the White House, Cheney returned to his home state of Wyoming, where he was elected in 1978 as the state’s sole member of the House of Representatives. Re-elected to office five times, Cheney served in several leadership positions and was chosen by his colleagues as the minority whip, the number two position in the House Republican leadership.
Early in Cheney’s sixth term, in 1989, he was nominated by President George Bush to serve as Secretary of Defense, and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. In his four years at the Pentagon, Cheney led American forces to victory in Operation Just Cause in Panama, and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. In 1991, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Through most of the 1990s, Cheney worked in the private sector as chief executive officer of the Halliburton Company in Dallas, Texas. In 2000, George W. Bush asked Cheney to become his running mate and in August 2000, Cheney became the Republican vice presidential nominee. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were inaugurated for the first of two terms on January 20, 2001.
In the eight eventful years of the Bush presidency, the vice president was best known for his involvement in national security matters following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Cheney has been recognized by many as the most powerful and consequential vice president in American history, and worked side by side with George W. Bush to keep our homeland safe and protect Americans from terrorist attacks for seven and a half years following 9/11.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney left office in January 2009. Shortly thereafter, Vice President Cheney believes President Obama began to dismantle the security policies that had kept the nation safe. Vice President Cheney feels that President Obama’s policy decisions have led to a reversal of the gains America made in the war on terror, in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and a weakening of America across the globe.
Vice President Cheney was born on January 30, 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He and his wife, Lynne V. Cheney, live in Wyoming and have two daughters and seven grandchildren. Vice President Cheney’s memoir, In My Time, was published in 2011. His latest book, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, was released in October 2013.