53 Facts About Alexander Haig


In 1973, Haig became the youngest four-star general in the US Army's history.


In 1969 Alexander Haig became an assistant to National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger.


Alexander Haig became vice chief of staff of the Army, the second-highest-ranking position in the Army, in 1972.


Alexander Haig continued to serve as chief of staff for the first month of President Ford's tenure.


From 1974 to 1979, Alexander Haig served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, commanding all NATO forces in Europe.


Alexander Haig retired from the army in 1979 and pursued a career in business.


Alexander Haig served as the head of a consulting firm and hosted the television program World Business Review.

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Alexander Haig initially attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on scholarship; when it was withdrawn due to poor academic performance, he transferred to Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1942.


Alexander Haig later served with the X Corps, as aide to MacArthur's chief of staff, General Edward Almond, who awarded Alexander Haig two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star with Valor device.


Alexander Haig participated in four Korean War campaigns, including the Battle of Inchon, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and the evacuation of Hungnam, as Almond's aide.


Alexander Haig served as a staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Pentagon, and then was appointed military assistant to Secretary of the Army Stephen Ailes in 1964.


Alexander Haig then was appointed military assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, continuing in that service until the end of 1965.


In 1966, Alexander Haig graduated from the United States Army War College.


In 1966 Alexander Haig took command of a battalion of the 1st Infantry Division during the Vietnam War.


On May 22,1967, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Haig was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the US Army's second highest medal for valor, by General William Westmoreland as a result of his actions during the Battle of Ap Gu in March 1967.


Heedless of the danger himself, Colonel Alexander Haig repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to survey the battlefield.


Alexander Haig was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart during his tour in Vietnam and was eventually promoted to colonel as commander of 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.


Alexander Haig continued in the role until January 4,1973, when he became vice chief of staff of the Army.


Alexander Haig was confirmed by the US Senate in October 1972, thus skipping the rank of lieutenant general.


Alexander Haig has been largely credited with keeping the government running while President Nixon was preoccupied with Watergate and was essentially seen as the "acting president" during Nixon's last few months in office.


Alexander Haig presented several pardon options to Ford a few days before Nixon eventually resigned.


However, Alexander Haig denied the allegation that he played a key role in arbitrating Nixon's resignation by offering Ford's pardon to Nixon.


Alexander Haig aided in the transition by advising the new president mostly on policy matters on which he had been working under the Nixon presidency and introducing Ford to the White House staff and their daily activities.


Alexander Haig recommended that Ford retain several of Nixon's White House staff for 30 days to provide an orderly transition from the old administration to the new.


Alexander Haig found it difficult to get along with the new administration and wanted to return to the Army for his last command.

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Alexander Haig resigned from his position as White House Chief of Staff and returned to active-duty in the United States Army in September 1974.


In December 1974, Alexander Haig was appointed as the next Supreme Allied Commander Europe by President Gerald Ford replacing General Andrew Goodpaster and returning to active duty within the United States Army.


General Alexander Haig became the top runner to be the 27th US Army Chief of Staff, following the death of Army Chief of Staff General Creighton Abrams from complications of surgery to remove lung cancer on September 4,1974.


From 1974 to 1979 General Alexander Haig served as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, as well as commander in chief of United States European Command.


Alexander Haig focused on strengthening the relationship between the United States and NATO member nations and their allies.


Alexander Haig stressed the importance of increasing the training of US troops deployed in Europe following his tour of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, on which Alexander Haig saw poorly-disciplined and ill-trained troops.


Alexander Haig recommended the revitalization of the equipment within the United States installations in Europe and US troops deployed in Europe, in order to strengthen deterrence from possible attack within Western Europe.


On June 25,1979, Alexander Haig was the target of an assassination attempt in Mons, Belgium.


However Alexander Haig drew concern regarding the SALT II Treaty in which, in accordance to Alexander Haig it's only benefited the Soviet position and gave them a way to build up their military arsenal.


Alexander Haig grew more concerned about the treaty following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in which Alexander Haig argued that the invasion was part of the Soviet campaign to strengthen their military buildup expansion.


Alexander Haig retired as a four-star general from the Army in 1979, and moved on to civilian employment.


Alexander Haig, who described himself as the "vicar" of US foreign policy, believed the human rights violations of a US ally such as El Salvador should be given less attention than the ally's successes against enemies of the US, and thus found himself diminishing the murders of the nuns before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in March 1981:.


The outcry that immediately followed Alexander Haig's insinuation prompted him to emphatically withdraw his speculative suggestions the very next day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


In 1981, following the March 30 assassination attempt on Reagan, Alexander Haig asserted before reporters, "I am in control here" as a result of Reagan's hospitalization, indicating that, while President Reagan had not "transfer[red] the helm," Alexander Haig was in fact directing White House crisis management until Vice President George Bush arrived in Washington to assume that role.


In December 2012 documents released under the United Kingdom's 30 Year Rule disclosed that Alexander Haig planned to reveal British classified military information to Argentina in advance of the recapture of South Georgia Island.


However, in 2012 it was revealed via declassified files from the Reagan Presidential Library that Alexander Haig attempted to persuade Reagan to side with Argentina in the war.


Critics accused Alexander Haig of "greenlighting" the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982.


Alexander Haig caused some alarm with his suggestion that a "nuclear warning shot" in Europe might be effective in deterring the Soviet Union.


Alexander Haig ran unsuccessfully for the 1988 Republican Party presidential nomination.


Alexander Haig supervised the development of John Milius' Red Dawn and made significant changes to it.

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Alexander Haig served as a founding corporate director of America Online.


Alexander Haig was the host for several years of the television program World Business Review.


Alexander Haig was member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy board of advisers.


On January 5,2006, Alexander Haig participated in a meeting at the White House of former secretaries of defense and state to discuss US foreign policy with Bush administration officials.


On May 12,2006, Alexander Haig participated in a second White House meeting with 10 former secretaries of state and defense.


On February 19,2010, a hospital spokesman revealed that the 85-year-old Alexander Haig had been hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore since January 28 and remained in critical condition.


Alexander Haig was married to Patricia, with whom he had three children: Alexander Patrick Haig, Barbara Haig, and Brian Haig.


Alexander Haig's younger brother, Frank Alexander Haig, is a Jesuit priest and professor emeritus of physics at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.