Donald Henry Rumsfeld was born in Chicago, Illinois. His great-grandfather Johann Heinrich Rumsfeld immigrated to the United States from Weyhe near Bremen, Germany.
After attending Princeton University, Rumsfeld pursued a career as a politician and businessman. He served as an aviator in the United States Navy from 1954 to 1957 before entering the Reserve. He held various positions under President Richard Nixon, including U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Under President Ford he served as the White House Chief of Staff.
Rumsfeld became the 13th Secretary of Defense in the Ford administration (1975-1977) and later the 21st Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush (2001-2006) as the youngest person holding that position and being the only Secretary of Defense for two non-consecutive terms. Rumsfeld coined the term Old Europe. He resigned from his position as Secretary of Defense in December 2006.