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Leadership Conference

The Honorable Richard B. Cheney

The Honorable Richard B. Cheney

  • 46th Vice President of the United States
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Member of Congress from Wyoming
  • White House Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Halliburton Company

Across four decades of public life, Dick Cheney has served at the highest levels of government during some of the 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 Congress. Re-elected to the office five times, Cheney served in several leadership positions and was chosen by his colleagues as deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives.

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 helped to lead American forces to victory in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. In 1991, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Through most of the 1990’s, Cheney worked in the private sector as chief executive officer of the Halliburton Company in Dallas, Texas. When Texas Governor George W. Bush secured the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2000, he asked Cheney to lead the search for a vice presidential running mate. In time, Governor Bush asked Cheney himself to join the ticket, and after a dramatic and suspenseful campaign and election, 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. As difficult decisions multiplied, and American forces battled in Afghanistan and Iraq, the president and vice president held firm to a strategy of keeping America safe by taking the fight to the enemy. They spoke with confidence that America’s ideals of justice and liberty could overcome the ideologies of violence and domination, and that America’s own security would be strengthened by the spread of freedom.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney left office in January 2009, after conducting one of the smoothest transitions of executive power in memory. Their successors inherited responsibility for critical missions not yet completed, and stewardship of a nation that for more than seven years had been kept safe from further attack.

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 October 22, 2013.

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