Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Dies at 88

Former U.S. secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld has died, his family said in a statement on Twitter. He was 88.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico,” his family said.

According to the New York Times, he died from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.

A controversial figure, Rumsfeld served as U.S. defense secretary under two presidents, President Gerald Ford in the 1970s and President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006.  According to CNN, he was both the youngest and the oldest person to serve in the position.

Following 9/11, Rumsfeld pushed heavily for the U.S. to invade Iraq to remove President Saddam Hussein, which cost $700 billion and cost 4,400 American lives, per HuffPost. 

Under Rumsfeld, U.S. military practices such as waterboarding or enhanced interrogation were highlighted after reports of torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

“History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country,” his family said in a statement.

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