Caspar Weinberger – Secretary of Defense

“He gave everything to his country, to public office and to his family, “ Caspar Weinberger Jr. stated

From 1981 to 1987 Caspar Weinberger held the Secretary of Defense pposition in the Reagan administration.  He was involved in the United States intervention in Beirut.  In regards to the Marine barracks bombing, Weinberger’s opinion was that combat forces only be used in a clearly defined mission and only as the last resort.  In 1984 Weinberger gave a speech at the National Press Club.  At this speech his “Weinberger Doctrine” had become a source of much debate.  His belief was to limit the use of combat forces to U.S. interests.  Weinberger and George Shultz, Reagan’s former Secretary of State had much debate over this philosophy of using diplomacy over military force when dealing with terrorism.  He clarifies his position by stating the “blind use” of military force.

Some of the facts regarding Weinberger’s life:

1917 – born in San Francisco, California on August 18

1939 –  graduates from Harvard with a B.A.

1941 – graduates from Harvard with J.D.

1941 –  joins the US Army as a private.  Is commissioned and serves in the Pacific with the 41st Infantry Division.  At the end of the war be is a captain and working on General MacArthur’s intelligence staff.

1943 – While in the military service in New Guinea he contracts Malaria.  He is shipped off to Australia to recover where he meets Jane Dalton, a military nurse.  They marry on August 16, 1943 in Australia.

1945 –  becomes a law clerk for a federal judge.

1947 – Joins the law firm of Heller Ehrman White and McCauliffe in San Francisco

1952 – elected to the California State Assembly.  Reelected in 1954 and 1956.

1958 – Runs for but looses the California Attorney General election

1962 – elected Chairman of the California Republican Party

1967 –  named as chairman, by Governor Ronald Reagan, of the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy

1968 –  Reagan names him State Director of Finance

1970 –  Weinberger and his family move to Washingto D.C. where he is named by President Nixon as the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.   Continues under President Nixon as deputy director and then director of the Office of Management and Budget.

1973 – Continiues to serve under President Nixon and is named U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare which continues into the Ford administration after Nixon resigns

1975 –  Relocates back to California to work as general counsel of the Bechtel Corporation

1980 –  President Ronald Reagan appoints him as Secretary of Defense

1987 –  Resigns his position as Secretary of Defense and is awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom with Distinction

1989 –  becomes publisher of Forbes magazine.  On January 13 he is knighted by Queen Elizabeth at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

1990  – Writes is first book “Fighting for Peace” which is a history of his years with the Pentagon

1992  – indicted in the Iran-Contra Scandal, buy Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh. A plea bargain is offered to testify against former President Reagan, which he refuses.  The evening before the trail is to begin, President George H. Bush pardons him.

1993 –  starts his own column for Forbes and is named chairman

1996 –  co-authors his second book “The Next War” an analytical review of post Cold War strategy.

2001 –  yet another book is written “In The Arena…A Memoir of the 20th Century” co-authored with Gretchen Roberts.

2005 –  “Chain of Command” co authored with Peter Schweizer is his first best selling fictional novel

2006  –  dies in a hospital in Bangor, Maine suffering from Pneumonia on March 28.  At his side were his wife, Jane Dalton, Caspar Weinberger, Jr. and Arlin Weinberger his daughter.  His body was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Shortly after his death his fifth book is published.  “Home of the Brave: a Tribute to Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror”, which was co-written by Wynton C. Hall




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