Gates, Robert Michael

Gates, Robert Michael,

1943–, American government official, U.S. secretary of defense (2006–11), b. Wichita, Kans. A circumspect and pragmatic career intelligence officer, he joined (1966) the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst and spent more than 25 years with the CIA and the National Security Council. Deputy director of intelligence of the CIA (1982–86), he was suspected of involvement in the Iran-Contra affairIran-contra affair,
in U.S. history, secret arrangement in the 1980s to provide funds to the Nicaraguan contra rebels from profits gained by selling arms to Iran. The Iran-contra affair was the product of two separate initiatives during the administration of President Ronald
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, and when President Ronald ReaganReagan, Ronald Wilson
, 1911–2004, 40th president of the United States (1981–89), b. Tampico, Ill. In 1932, after graduation from Eureka College, he became a radio announcer and sportscaster.
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 nominated (1987) him as CIA director, Congress called for further investigation into the CIA's role in the matter and Gates withdrew his name from consideration. Under President George H. W. BushBush, George Herbert Walker,
1924–, 41st President of the United States (1989–93), b. Milton, Mass., B.A., Yale Univ., 1948. Career in Business and Government
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, Gates was deputy national security adviser (1989–91) and CIA director (1991–93). He later was a dean (1999–2001) and university president (2002–6) at Texas A&M Univ. In 2006 Gates was appointed secretary of defense by President George W. BushBush, George Walker,
1946–, 43d President of the United States (2001–9), b. New Haven, Conn. The eldest son of President George H. W. Bush, he was was raised in Texas and, like his father, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, graduating in 1968.
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, succeeding Donald H. RumsfeldRumsfeld, Donald Henry,
1932–, American government official, b. Chicago, grad. Princeton (B.A.). A Republican with a reputation as a skilled political infighter, he was a congressman from Illinois from 1963 to 1969, when he resigned to become director of the Office of
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 when the latter resigned as sectarian violence in U.S.-occupied Iraq worsened. Gates was retained as secretary of defense in 2009 by President Barack ObamaObama, Barack
(Barack Hussein Obama 2d), , 1961–, 44th president of the United States (2009–17), b. Honolulu, grad. Columbia (B.A. 1983), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1991).
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. In 2014 he became president of the Boy Scouts of America. Gates has written From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996) and Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (2014).