Richard Bruce Cheney (; born January 30, 1941) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 46th vice president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He has been cited as the most powerful vice president in American history. At the same time he has been among the least favored politicians in the history of the US: his approval rating when leaving office was only 13%.Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He attended Yale and then the University of Wyoming, at the latter of which he earned a BA and an MA in Political Science. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations, where he later served as the White House chief of staff, from 1975 to 1977. In 1978, Cheney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wyomings at-large congressional district from 1979 to 1989; he was reelected five times, briefly serving as House minority whip in 1989. Cheney was selected to be the secretary of defense during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, holding the position for the majority of Bushs term from 1989 to 1993. During his time in the Department of Defense, Cheney oversaw the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, among other actions. Out of office during the Clinton administration, Cheney was the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000.
In July 2000, Cheney was chosen by presumptive Republican Presidential nominee George W. Bush as his running mate in the 2000 Presidential election. They defeated their Democratic opponents, incumbent Vice President Al Gore and Senator Joe Lieberman. In 2004 Cheney was reelected to his second term as Vice President with Bush as President, defeating their Democratic opponents Senators John Kerry and John Edwards. During Cheneys tenure as Vice President, he played a leading behind-the-scenes role in the George W. Bush administrations response to the September 11 attacks and coordination of the Global War on Terrorism. He was an early proponent of invading Iraq and defender of the Administrations anti-terrorism record. He became at odds with President Bushs position against same-sex marriage in 2004. Cheney was often criticized for the Bush Administrations policies regarding the campaign against terrorism, wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA) and torture.