Richard Bruce Cheney, popularly known as Dick Chaney was born on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska. His mother Marjorie, father Richard, and two younger siblings, Bob and Susan, raised him in Casper, Wyoming.
Dick Chaney’s political career
Cheney was awarded a congressional fellowship by the American Political Science Association in 1968, and he travelled to Washington, DC, to work as an intern for Congressman William Steiger.
Cheney worked at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Donald Rumsfeld from 1969 to 1970, and then as a White House Staff Assistant and Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council in the years after.
Cheney began his career as a Deputy Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford’s administration, subsequently rising to Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff.
He was also the campaign manager for Gerald Ford’s presidential campaign in 1976.
In 1978, Cheney was elected to the United States House of Representatives to represent Wyoming, his home state. He was re-elected five times, and from 1981 to 1987, he was Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.
Dick Chaney’s political offices
Cheney was elected House Minority Whip in 1988 but resigned in 1989 to become Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush, a position he held until 1993.
Dick commanded military campaigns Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm while Secretary of Defense, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official during his tenure.
From 2001 through 2009, Cheney was George W. Bush’s vice president, actively and openly influencing White House policy, particularly in the areas of foreign policy, environmental policy, and the treatment of detainees.
Cheney played a key role in the administration’s “War on Terror” strategy, openly declaring that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and had ties to Al Qaeda.
Cheney served as acting president twice while Bush was undergoing minor medical procedures requiring sedation: on June 29, 2002, from 11:09 a.m. to 1:24 p.m., and on July 21, 2007, from 7:16 a.m. to 9:21 a.m.
On February 27, 2007, as Cheney was visiting Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside the front gate, killing 23 people and injuring 20 more. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident, claiming that it was ordered by Osama Bin Laden and that Cheney was the intended target.
Cheney was widely chastised during his tenure in office for his backing of the administration’s “enhanced interrogation program,” which entailed waterboarding captured terrorists, and his approval rating at the time of his departure was only 13%.
Cheney left politics after the Bush administration. He and his daughter Liz co-wrote two books, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir” in 2011 and “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America” in 2015. On March 24, 2012, Cheney received a heart transplant, two years after his sixth heart attack.