The man who was just a heartbeat from the U.S. Presidency, former Vice president Richard Bruce Cheney (1941-) was born on this day in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. The first of three children, he played halfback on his high school football team.
The conservative Republican is known for his heavyweight resume and strong party loyalty. Before joining George W. Bush's team, Chaney served as a U.S. Representative (1979-1989), Chief of Staff to Gerald Ford (1975-1977), and Secretary of Defense (1989-1992) for the elder George Bush.
Many credit the success of "Desert Storm," the 1991 Persian Gulf War, to Cheney who oversaw the deployment of forces.
President Ford celebrated Cheney's talents as "towering intelligence and probity, razor-sharp judgment, and a seriousness of purpose that is the antithesis of modern political spin."
Cheney has survived heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, and had a pacemaker-defibrillator implanted in June 2001 to control a potentially dangerous heart rhythm.
How doe he handled his career demands? According to his wife and high school sweetheart, Lynn, he's doing fine.
"Dick is doing something he's spent his whole life preparing to do," Mrs. Cheney explained. "I think stress is when you feel frustrated, when you don't feel control of your life. ... He's having a remarkable time right now, and is not feeling stressed in the least."
Let freedom ring.