- NAME: Dick Cheney
- OCCUPATION: U.S. Vice President
- BIRTH DATE: January 30, 1941 (Age: 73)
- Did You Know?: Dick Cheney became the youngest White House Chief of Staff in history after gaining the position under the Ford administration at age 34.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Lincoln, Nebraska
- Full Name: Richard Bruce Cheney
- AKA: Richard Cheney
- AKA: Dick Cheney
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aquarius
Best Known For
Dick Cheney served four Republican presidents and spent six terms in the House. The former vice president specialized in defense, energy and the Middle East.
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Born in 1941 in Nebraska, Dick Cheney entered politics in 1965. Beginning as an intern for the Senate, Cheney quickly rose to power by first becoming an aide to the Wisconsin governor, then working for President Richard Nixon's administration in 1969. He served as Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff from 1975 to 1977,
then served six terms in Congress before being appointed Secretary of Defense by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. About 10 years later, he worked for another Bush administration, this time as vice president to President George W. Bush in 2000 for two terms. As vice president, Cheney was known for taking on a prominent role in the bush administration, being a more active vice president than what had ever been seen in the Oval Office before.
Politician and Vice President of the United States Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney was born on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to parents Richard Herbert Cheney, a soil-conservation agent, and Marjorie Lauraine Dickey Cheney, a former softball player. Both of his parents were Democrats. Cheney grew up in Casper, Wyoming, a town he would later describe as being idyllic with a classic 1950s feel. It was there that he met his high school sweetheart and future wife, Lynne Vincent.
Upon graduating from high school, Cheney was accepted to Yale University and offered a full-ride scholarship. He enrolled, but eventually dropped out due to poor grades. While attending classes, he worked as a power lineman in a working-class town. Although Yale had not suited Cheney, he decided to pursue college once more. He enrolled at the University of Wyoming, where he received a B.A. in political science in 1965 and an M.A. in political science in 1966.
During his time as a student, Cheney applied for and received five draft deferments and thus avoided being drafted in the Vietnam War, stating that he "had other priorities in the 60's than military service." Cheney and Lynne married in 1964, and would have two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary.
With two degrees under his belt, Dick Cheney started his political career in 1965. He worked as a part-time legislative intern to the Wyoming Senate legislature, which had a Republican majority. Cheney and his wife, both of whom had been raised in Democratic households, began professionally associating as Republicans. After Cheney won a national writing contest for student political scientists, he was offered a position as an aide to Wisconsin governor Warren Knowles.
Cheney and Lynn both enrolled in PhD programs at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Lynn received her doctorate in English, but Cheney had not yet finished his dissertation when he received a fellowship to work in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Bill Steiger, a Wisconsin Republican.
Cheney later indicated that he wanted to go into politics because of his dissatisfaction with ivory tower academia: "I was always struck, because [there were] a lot of complaints about the administration, the management of the university, oftentimes about the students—sort of critical of everybody out there, because the place was chaotic at that time.
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