Al Haig Dead at Age 85

Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig died on Saturday from complications arising from an infection. He was 85.

The four-star general was Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state and he also served in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Alexander Meigs Haig was born Dec. 2, 1924, in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. In 1943, he secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

After serving in both Korea and Vietnam, Haig was named Henry Kissinger’s military adviser on the National Security Council during the Nixon administration. In 1972, he was promoted to a four-star general.

During the Watergate scandal, Haig become Nixon’s chief of staff replacing H.R. Haldemann. He was Nixon’s closest aide as the President considered resigning his office. He also played a key role in President Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon.

Haig was named Reagan’s first secretary of state. After the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, Haig famously declared, "I am in control here in the White House"– which critics pointed out was contrary to the constitutional provisions for presidential succession.

Haig is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia; his children Alexander, Brian and Barbara; eight grandchildren.


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