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Former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Dead at 88

Donald H. Rumsfeld
FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2008, file photo, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaks at the dedication of Pentagon Memorial. The family of Rumsfeld says he has died. He was 88. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Donald Rumsfeld, the former Pentagon chief who oversaw the U.S. response to 9/11 and the prosecution of the war in Iraq that deposed Saddam Hussein, died at his home in Taos, New Mexico.

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,” Rumsfeld’s family said in a statement issued on social media. “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.”

A two term Republican member of congress from Illinois, Rumsfeld served as both Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford and later as his Secretary of Defense.

After working over a decade in the private sector he would resume the top job at the Pentagon under President George W. Bush following his election in 2000.

Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 when a plane hit the building and became a chief architect of the U.S. response to the attacks.

His tenure was surrounded by controversy but he held the post of Secretary of Defense until tendering his resignation in 2006.

He is survived by his children and his wife Joyce.