Rumsfeld served as the Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977 and again from January 2001 to December 2006 under George W. Bush and had directed actions of the Defense Department following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, according to the U.S. Dept. of Defense. A former Navy pilot, Rumsfeld also served as White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, U.S. Congressman, and was the chief executive officer of two Fortune 500 companies.
According to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He has also been awarded 11 honorary degrees.
“History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country,” the family said in the statement.