(CNN) — Donald Rumsfeld, a former US secretary of defense under two presidents, died at the age of 88, according to a statement from his family.
No cause of death was immediately provided.
“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,” the Rumsfeld family said in a statement.
“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 held the distinction as the youngest person to ever serve as secretary of defense and the second oldest to serve in the position. He served as defense secretary under then-President Gerald Ford in the 1970s and then under then-President George W. Bush in the early 2000s.
It was his second stint in the role that would come to define Rumsfeld’s legacy in Washington. He oversaw two conflicts: the Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
After having been seen as a hero in the hours following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, he was ultimately driven from office because of his role in the Iraq War.
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