Donald Rumsfeld’s death at age 88 on Wednesday prompted an array of reactions from politicians and other public figures who remarked on the life of the former secretary of defense.
Rumsfeld’s family announced his passing, noting that he had died “surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico.” A two-time defense secretary, Rumsfeld is best known for his prominent role in former President George W. Bush’s administration, leading Pentagon policy during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush was among the first public figures to react to Rumsfeld’s death, praising his former colleague’s “steady service as a wartime secretary of defense — a duty he carried out with strength, skill, and honor.”
“He was also a good friend and a steady presence throughout the many trials of the post-9/11 world. I will miss him as a colleague and as a friend. Joyce and the family will be in my thoughts and prayers,” she said.
Rumsfeld is the only person in U.S. history to twice serve as the Pentagon’s highest official. He held roles under four presidential administrations and once staged his own unsuccessful bid for the presidency.
As defense secretary under President Bush, Rumsfeld faced intense scrutiny over his handling of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts following the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.