Haig, Alexander Meigs, Jr.,
1924–2010, American general and public official, U.S. secretary of state (1981–82), b. Philadelphia, grad. West Point, 1947. He served in Korea (1950–51) and held several staff positions, including military assistant to the secretary of the army (1964), before serving in Vietnam (1966–67) as a battalion and brigade commander. As military adviser to Henry Kissinger
(1969–73) he became an important member of the National Security Council staff. During the later stages of the Watergate affair
he was President Nixon's civilian chief of staff (1973–74). A four-star general, he served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
's forces from 1974 to 1979, when he retired from the army. In 1981 he became President Reagan
's secretary of state. His sudden resignation (1982) was attributed to disagreements over foreign policy. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988.
See his memoir Caveat (1984), and How America Changed the World (1992).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies