Donald Henry Rumsfeld (July 9, 1932 – June 29, 2021) was an American politician, government official and businessman who served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under president Gerald Ford, and again from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He was both the youngest and the oldest secretary of defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a three-term U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1963–1969), director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), counselor to the president (1969–1973), the U.S. Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and the White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975). Between his terms as secretary of defense, he served as the CEO and chairman of several companies.
Rumsfeld accepted an appointment by President Richard Nixon to head the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1969; appointed counsellor by Nixon and entitled to Cabinet-level status, he also headed up the Economic Stabilization Program before being appointed ambassador to NATO.
Called back to Washington in August 1974, Rumsfeld was appointed chief of staff by President Ford.
Rumsfeld recruited a young one-time staffer of his, Dick Cheney, to succeed him when Ford nominated him to be Secretary of Defense in 1975.