- 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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Heavily involved in both military and national security issues at the highest levels, Cheney greatly expanded the power of both the executive branch and of the vice presidency itself, even at the risk of exerting unconstitutional powers, many of which were later explored in a Pulitzer-Prize winning series by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.
Perhaps the largest overstepping of bounds came from Dick Cheney's involvement with the Valerie Plame scandal. In 2003,
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, was involved in leaking to the press the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent who was also the wife of Bush critic and ambassador Joe Wilson. Libby was eventually found guilty of lying during the investigation and was sentenced to jail; President Bush commuted his sentence but did not pardon him. Cheney later publicly announced that he disagreed with Bush's decision, marking one of their very few public disagreements.
Another major area of disagreement between Cheney and Bush was same-sex marriage: Bush is opposed, whereas Cheney's younger daughter, Mary, is a lesbian. Neither Dick and Lynne Cheney supports a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage, as they believe that states should be able to decide; however, they allowed Bush to form his own federal policy on this issue during the administration.
Cheney declined to seek the Republican nomination during the 2008 election. Since 2009, Cheney has regularly appeared in the news as a critic of President Barack Obama's administration, though he praised President Obama for his handling of Osama bin Laden's assassination. As of 2010, he has had five heart attacks, though this has not slowed down his pace of speaking and writing.
An avid hunter and fisher, his Secret Service code name was "Angler," and he made headlines in 2006 for accidentally shooting a fellow hunter in the face. Cheney is generally regarded to be a man who used his power to do what he believed was necessary, and was not deterred by the consequences. Not one to either make apologies or skirt controversy, Cheney's legacy will likely continue to be debated.
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