Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dead at 88

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ARLINGTON – JANUARY 11: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gestures during a joint press conference with Russia’s Minister of Defense at the Pentagon January 11, 2005 in Arlington, Virginia. Ivanov is also supposed to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush and incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (Photo by Shaun Heasley/Getty Images)

TAOS, N.M. (WJW/AP) — Two-time defense secretary and one-time presidential candidate Donald Rumsfeld has died at 88 years old.

According to a statement from the Rumsfeld family, he passed away surrounded by loved ones at his home in New Mexico.

The statement reads:

“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.

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.”

Rumsfeld Family

Rumsfeld served the American people for six decades. Regarded by former colleagues as equally smart and combative, patriotic and politically cunning, Rumsfeld had a storied career under four presidents and nearly a quarter century in corporate America.

He served as Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977.

He also served in the role again from January 2001 to December 2006 under President George W. Bush. His plan to “transform” the armed forces was overshadowed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He oversaw the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, where he was blamed for setbacks including the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and for being slow to recognize a violent insurgency.

He leaves behind a wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His family says he will be remembered for his “unwavering love” for family and the dedication he had to his country.

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