Encyclopedia > Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

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Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (born December 2, 1924) commanded an infantry division in Vietnam, then returned stateside in 1969 to become a member of Henry Kissinger's national security council staff. Haig helped South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to negotiate the final cease-fire talks in 1972.

From 1973 until 1974, Haig served as Richard Nixon's White House Chief of Staff and from 1974 to 1979, Haig served as the NATO commander.

After an unsuccessful run for the Republican Party nomination for President in 1980, he acted as Ronald Reagan's secretary of state for eight years. He received criticism in 1981, after the assassination attempt on Reagan, for asserting before reporters that "I'm in control here" as a result of Reagan's hospitalization, although in fact he was not in charge under the rules of constitutional succession, as laid out by the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution and by U.S. law.

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