Who is Donald Rumsfeld's wife Joyce P Pierson? Former two-time defense secretary dies at 88

Rumsfeld served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford, and again from 2001 to 2006 under George W Bush

                            Who is Donald Rumsfeld's wife Joyce P Pierson? Former two-time defense secretary dies at 88
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his wife Joyce (Photo by Chris Greenberg/Getty Images)

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld passed away on Tuesday, June 29 after nearly six decades of public service. His family confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon. Rumsfeld served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford, and again from 2001 to 2006 under George W Bush.

The statement from Rumsfeld's family read, "It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather." The statement further confirmed that Rumsfeld passed away "surrounded by family" in Taos, New Mexico. "History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country."  Six months into 2021 and we have witnessed the demise of quite a few great personalities like author Lauren Berlant, journalist Dick Stolley, author Janet Malcolm.


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Rumsfeld was married to Joyce P Pierson since 1954. The couple has three children, Marcy K Rumsfeld Walczak, Donald Nicholas Rumsfeld and Valerie J Rumsfeld Richard. The couple also has six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Rumsfeld met his wife while attending Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center.

Rumsfeld was both, the youngest and the second-oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defence. He was appointed at the position at the age of 43 in 1975 in the Gerald Ford administration. He held the position again at the age of 69 in the Bush Junior administration. He then made a brief run for 1988 Republican presidential nomination but did not succeed. He called it humbling for a man used to success at the highest levels of the government.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Joyce Rumsfeld joke with photographers before the entertainment at a White House State Dinner for the nation's governors February 26, 2006 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)

On the day of the 9/11 tragedy, Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon when the third plane targeted it. He was lucky to survive as the ‘missile’ fell short of carrying out a complete destruction. Rumsfeld had raised the defense condition signaling of the US offensive readiness to DEFCON 3 level and had ordered his aides to find out if there was any involvement of Iraq in the September 11 attacks. In March 2004, Rumsfeld had testified before the 9/11 Commission. He was replaced by Robert Gates in 2006. Rumsfeld set up The Rumsfeld Foundation that focuses on encouraging public service in the country in 2007.

In May 2018 Rumsfeld released his book 'When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency'. In December the same year, a film called ‘Vice’ was released featuring Steve Carell portraying Rumsfeld.

Donald Rumsfed's book (Image credits: Twitter @@RumsfeldOffice)


'He was misunderstood by many'

People took to Twitter to express their condolences over the demise of the former Secretary of Defense. One user wrote, "My family’s prayers are with you. Secretary Rumsfeld was a lion of a man, with a towering intellect and such integrity. The years I spent working with him, and for him, are among the most treasured of my memories. He will be dearly missed. #knownunkowns #churchillsolitaire."

Another tweeted, "A charismatic, courageous and coherent man has passed away. Respectful #condolences to his family & friends. #Prayers for one of those public servants that lead with generosity. Author of the #RumsfeldRules and mentor of many. #Prayers." One user commented, "He was a great man who was misunderstood by many. He was amazingly charitable, not only via his Foundation but in many private acts of kindness. The gruff exterior masked an exceedingly decent and humane interior. May his memory be a blessing."