CNN Editorial Research
Here’s a look at the life of Dick Cheney, the 46th vice president of the United States.
Birth date: January 30, 1941
Birth place: Lincoln, Nebraska
Birth name: Richard Bruce Cheney
Father: Richard Herbert Cheney, worked for the Department of Agriculture
Mother: Marjorie Lorraine (Dickey) Cheney
Marriage: Lynne Ann (Vincent) Cheney (August 29,1964-present)
Children: Mary and Elizabeth
Education: Attended Yale University, 1959-1960; Attended Casper College, 1963; University of Wyoming, B.A. in political science, 1965; University of Wyoming, M.A. in political science, 1966; Attended University of Wisconsin as a Ph.D. candidate, 1968, did not finish
When Cheney was 13, his family moved to Casper, Wyoming, where his father worked for the US Soil Conservation Service.
Cheney was co-captain of the Natrona High School football team and senior class president. Lynne Vincent, his future wife, was the homecoming queen.
His oldest daughter, Liz, is a US Representative from Wyoming.
1966 – Drops out of the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin to work as staff aide for Governor Warren Knowles.
1968 – Cheney is awarded an American Political Science Association congressional fellowship with Congressman William Steiger and moves to Washington, DC.
1969 – Assigned to work for Donald Rumsfeld, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in President Richard Nixon’s administration. Rumsfeld appoints Cheney to the position of special assistant.
1970 – Rumsfeld becomes a White House counselor. Cheney becomes his deputy.
1971-1973 – Assistant director of the Cost of Living Council.
1973 – Rumsfeld asks Cheney to join him in Brussels, Belgium, when Nixon appoints Rumsfeld ambassador to NATO. Cheney declines and instead accepts a post as vice president at Bradley, Woods and Company, a Washington, DC, investment firm that counsels corporate clients on politics and federal policy.
August 1974 – Gerald Ford succeeds President Nixon and appoints Rumsfeld to head his transition team. Rumsfeld recruits Cheney to serve as his deputy.
September 1974 – Named deputy assistant to the president.
November 5, 1975-1977 – White House chief of staff.
June 18, 1978 – Has a heart attack.
January 3, 1979-March 17, 1989 – US Representative from Wyoming. Is reelected five times.
1981-1987 – Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.
1984 – Has a second heart attack.
1987 – Elected chairman of the House Republican Conference.
1988 – Becomes House minority whip.
1988 – Has a third heart attack and undergoes quadruple bypass surgery.
March 1989 – President George H.W. Bush nominates Cheney for secretary of defense after John Tower’s nomination for the position fails to win Senate confirmation.
1989-1993 – Serves as secretary of defense. He directs two military campaigns during this time: Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East.
July 3, 1991 – Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush for his leadership during the Gulf War.
March 1992 – Cheney and other current and former congressmen are named in a scandal involving overdrafts at the House bank. Cheney later acknowledges the overdrafts. The House Ethics Committee, formerly the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, offers recommendations that stop short of a formal inquiry. (The bank of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives ceased all banking activities at the end of 1991.)
1995 – Becomes chairman and CEO of Halliburton, an engineering and construction company for the petroleum industry.
March 2000 – Asked by George W. Bush to be his running mate. Cheney declines, instead accepting a position vetting potential vice presidential candidates. He accepts in July when Bush asks again.
November 22, 2000 – Cheney checks himself into a hospital with chest pains. Doctors say he had a mild heart attack and insert a stent to open an artery.
December 12, 2000 – The US Supreme Court reverses a Florida Supreme Court decision ordering a recount of thousands of votes – effectively ceding the presidency to Bush and Cheney.
2001-2009 – Serves as vice president of the United States.
March 5, 2001 – Cheney checks himself into George Washington University Hospital with chest pains. He undergoes angioplasty to reopen the artery treated in November 2000. It is determined he did not suffer a heart attack on this occasion.
June 30, 2001 – Doctors insert a “pacemaker-plus” device to monitor Cheney’s heart rhythm and slow it down if it becomes irregular.
November 2, 2004 – Bush and Cheney are reelected.
September 24, 2005 – Undergoes surgery at George Washington University Hospital for an arterial aneurysm behind his right knee. A similar procedure will be performed on an aneurysm in an artery behind the left knee at a later date.
December 18, 2005 – Makes a surprise visit to troops in Iraq. It is his first trip to the country since 1991.
February 11, 2006 – During a quail hunting trip in Texas, Cheney accidentally shoots and wounds his hunting companion, Harry Whittington.
July 13, 2006 – Cheney, along with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and a number of unnamed defendants, are named in a federal civil lawsuit by Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson. The suit contends Plame was the victim of intentional and malicious exposure, and that both she and Wilson “suffered a violation of rights guaranteed them under the United States Constitution and the laws of the District of Columbia.” The lawsuit is later dismissed.
March 5, 2007 – Doctors at George Washington University Hospital find a blood clot in Cheney’s lower left leg.
July 28, 2007 – Cheney has the battery replaced in his heart defibrillator.
November 26, 2007 – He is diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), after he visits his doctor complaining of a lingering cough. He undergoes a routine heart procedure intended to shock the heart back into normal rhythm.
September 17, 2009 – Undergoes elective back surgery to deal with pain caused from a case of lumbar spinal stenosis.
February 22, 2010 – Cheney is hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital after experiencing chest pains. It is determined Cheney suffered a mild heart attack.
March 24, 2012 – His office says he is recovering after undergoing successful heart transplant surgery.
2013 – The medical memoir “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey,” co-written by Dick Cheney and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, is published.
January 3, 2017 – Attends the swearing-in ceremony of daughter Liz Cheney. In November, she won the Wyoming congressional seat once held by her father.
March 27, 2017 – Says that alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election could be considered an “act of war” during a speech at an economic forum in India. He also declares that he believes the Russian efforts were directed by President Vladimir Putin.
December 25, 2018 – The movie titled “Vice,” starring Christian Bale as Cheney, opens in US theaters.
January 6, 2022 – Cheney and his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney are the only Republicans on the House floor during a remembrance of the January 6th riot. Later, he makes a statement saying he is “deeply disappointed at the failure of many members of my party to recognize the grave nature of the January 6 attacks and the ongoing threat to our nation.”
August 4, 2022 – Cheney appears in a new campaign ad for his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney. In the ad he criticizes former President Trump as a “threat to our republic” and a “coward.”
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