Monday, July 5, 2010

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald H. Rumsfeld graduated from New Trier High School (whose diverse alumni also includes Charlton Heston, Bruce Dern and Liz Phair) in Winnetka, Illinois in 1950. In high school, he met his future wife, Joyce Pierson. He also pursued football, swimming, and track, but excelled in wrestling, the sport in which he would win many medals. A New Trier classmate named Ned Jannotta is quoted in the Rumsfeld biography, Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait, citing wrestling as a key to the future two-time Secretary of Defense's personality: "Wrestling is, after all, a sport in which there is no such thing as second-place money. You go head to head, winner take all."

After high school, Rumsfeld attended Princeton University on a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated in 1954. The nation, though, would have to wait several more decades for the "Rummy" we all know and love to truly emerge on the national stage (at some point on his rise to the top, he found time to shake hands with Saddam Hussein). As President George W. Bush's wartime General Jack D. Ripper-esque Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld became a household name and a star of numerous press briefings. As the Iraq War descended into chaos largely because of the minimal American troop presence he recommended, he offered cheery reassurances such as "stuff happens." As the war on terror got worse, the quotes got better. Many of them can be read here.

Rummy is now busy writing his memoirs. 


  1. I'm finding it incredibly difficult to equate the guy in the first photo with the guy in the second one.