Dick Cheney was an important man in politics long before assuming the vice presidency during the George W. Bush administration. And although he was technically only second-in-command in those years, many have called him the most powerful vice president ever. But 10 years after leaving office, Dick Cheney's life has changed a lot since he walked the halls of the White House.
Cheney didn't have a traditional path to politics. As a young man, he dropped out of Yale twice and was also charged with a string of DUIs. It was the latter that provided what he referred to as a "wake-up call" in an interview with Playboy. "I decided that I really needed to get my act together, and what I ended up doing was going back to school at the University of Wyoming," he told the magazine.
Early Political Career
Throughout his over 30 years in politics, Cheney held a number of important positions. Notably he broke into the political sphere in 1966 when he worked as an aide for former Wisconsin governor Warren Knowles, per CNN. The outlet reported that he then interned in Washington D.C. for former Wisconsin congressman William Steiger.
Serving As VP
Cheney served as George W. Bush's vice president for eight years from 2001 to 2009. According to The Atlantic, during that time, he infamously pushed for the Iraq war, supported waterboarding, and helped influence the post-9/11 laws that allowed the U.S. to indefinitely detain foreign terrorism suspects without pressing charges or allowing them access to a fair trial by court.
He also made news by disagreeing with George W. Bush's stance on gay marriage in 2004, according to NBC News. Cheney — whose daughter Mary is gay — supported the LGBTQ+ community's right to enter into relationships of their choosing. Unlike Bush, he believed the power to determine marriage rights should lie with individual states and not a federal ruling.
Life After Being VP