Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was born on December 2, 1924 in the Philadelphia suburb Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. He was the son
of Alexander Meigs Haig, an assistant city solicitor of Philadelphia, and Regina Anne (née Murphy). Haig attended the University
of Notre Dame for two years before transferring to the U.S. Military Academy in 1944. Upon graduation in 1947, Second Lieutenant
Haig served in Japan with the First Calvary Division, then as an aide to Lt. General Edward “Ned” Almond in Europe. He also
served on General Douglas Macarthur’s staff in Japan before and during the Korean War. While in Japan, Haig was assigned as
an aide to General Alonzo P. Fox, MacArthur’s deputy chief of staff. In 1950, Haig married Maj. Gen. Fox’s daughter, Patricia
After the Korean War, Haig left the military for two years to study business administration at Columbia University. Soon thereafter,
Haig returned to the military and he was a student at the Naval War College from 1959 to 1960. He then studied at Georgetown
University for a master’s degree in International Relations, which he received in 1962.
In 1962, General Haig was selected as a staff officer to the deputy chief of staff for military operations in the Pentagon.
Soon Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance named Haig his military assistant. In 1964, he was appointed deputy special assistant
to Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara. In 1965, he left the Pentagon to attend the Army War College for a year. After graduating,
Haig was deployed to Vietnam. When his tour of duty ended in 1967, Haig was appointed regimental commander of cadets at his
alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy.
In January 1969, Haig became the senior military adviser to Henry Kissinger, the assistant to the President for national security
affairs. General Haig became deputy assistant to President Richard Nixon for national security affairs in 1970. Haig was promoted
to full general in 1972 and, a year later, left the White House to become the vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. In May
1973, Haig was brought back to the White House to replace White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, who had resigned on April
30, 1973. After President Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974, Haig served temporarily as chief of staff under President
President Ford appointed Haig to the post of Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) in late 1974. Haig left the military in 1979 to become the president of United Technologies Corporation, a defense
contractor. On January 22, 1981, Haig was sworn in as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State. He left the position after
serving for 18 months.
In 1984, Haig founded Worldwide Associates Inc., a global consulting firm. That same year, he wrote about his time with the
Reagan administration in Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy. In 1988, Haig was a candidate for the Republican Presidential
nomination. He pulled out of the race after the Iowa caucuses. In 1992, his memoir Inner Circles: How America Changed the
World was published.
Haig appeared on television programs such as World Business Review, on which he replaced Caspar Weinberger as the program’s
moderator, and 21st Century Business. In addition, he was an advisor to Newsmax Media, a member of the Washington Institute
for Near East Policy, and a founding board member of American Online. General Haig died of complications from an infection
on February 20, 2010 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. On March 2, 2010, he was buried at Arlington National
Cemetery with full military honors.
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