10 Things You Didn't Know About Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is under fire over a secret CIA program.

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1. Richard Bruce Cheney was born on Jan. 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Neb., but was raised in Casper, Wyo. His father, a soil conservation agent for the Department of Agriculture, and his mother, a homemaker, were both staunch Democrats.

2. Cheney won a scholarship to Yale University and matriculated there in 1959, but he dropped out during his sophomore year because of poor grades. He returned to college two years later and received bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from the University of Wyoming by 1966.

3. Prior to obtaining his degree, Cheney got a union job laying power lines in Rock Springs, Wyo.

3. He married his high school sweetheart, Lynne, in 1964. They have two adult daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Mary Cheney is openly gay.

4. He avoided military service during the Vietnam War with education and then marriage deferments.

5. Cheney says Winston Churchill's multivolume history of World War II greatly affected him. He says he learned from the British leader that leadership in world affairs is about recognizing dangers and confronting them rather than wishing them away.

6. Cheney was selected for a one-year fellowship in the office of Rep. William Steiger, a Wisconsin Republican, in the late 1960s; it was his first political job.

7. At age 34, Cheney became the youngest White House chief of staff in history during Gerald Ford's presidency.

8. Cheney was President George H. W. Bush's second pick as secretary of defense in 1989. Bush's original pick was former Sen. John Tower of Texas, whose nomination the Senate rejected.

9. Cheney dominated media headlines in February 2006 after accidentally shooting a Texas attorney, Harry Whittington, during a hunting trip. Cheney publicly apologized for the incident, calling it one of the "worst" days of his life.

10. His former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted of felony perjury in the Valerie Plame Wilson affair in 2007.

See photos of events from Bush and Cheney's term.

Sources:

The Biography Channel
Encyclopedia Britannica
MSN Encarta
Time