Chuck Hagel

Born Oct 4, 1946

Charles Timothy "Chuck" Hagel is a former United States Senator from Nebraska. A member of the Republican Party, Hagel was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He was reelected in 2002 and then retired in 2008. He is currently a professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has also served as chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board since 2009.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Chuck Hagel.


1946 Birth Born on October 4, 1946.


1962 15 Years Old His father, a veteran of World War II, died suddenly on Christmas morning, 1962, at the age of 39, when Hagel was 16.
1964 17 Years Old He graduated from St. Bonaventure High School (now Scotus Central Catholic High School) in Columbus, Nebraska, in 1964, the Brown Institute for Radio and Television in 1966, and he earned a BA degree in history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1971.


1967 20 Years Old Hagel volunteered to be drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War, rejecting a draft board recommendation that he go to college instead. He served in the United States Army infantry in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. … Read More
1969 22 Years Old After his discharge, he worked as a radio newscaster and talk show host in Omaha from 1969 to 1971 while finishing college on Veterans Administration (VA) assistance under the GI Bill.
1971 24 Years Old In 1971, Hagel was hired as a staffer for Congressman John Y. McCollister (R-NE), serving until 1977.


1979 32 Years Old In 1979, Hagel married Patricia Lloyd. The couple separated in 1981 and divorced a year later.
1980 33 Years Old For the next four years, he worked as a lobbyist for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and in 1980, he served as an organizer for the successful presidential campaign of former California Governor Ronald Reagan.
1982 35 Years Old After Reagan's inauguration as President, Hagel was named deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration. In 1982, however, he resigned his post over a disagreement with VA Administrator Robert P. Nimmo, who was intent on cutting funding for VA programs. … Read More
1985 38 Years Old He married his second wife, Lilibet Ziller, in April 1985. … Read More


1990 43 Years Old After leaving government employment, Hagel co-founded Vanguard Cellular, a mobile phone service carrier that made him a multi-millionaire. While working with Vanguard, he served as president and chief executive officer of the United Service Organizations and the Private Sector Council, as deputy director and chief operating officer of the 1990 G7 Summit, and on the board of directors or advisory committee of the American Red Cross, the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, Bread for the World, and the Ripon Society. … Read More
1992 45 Years Old Although he was pressured by some to run for Governor of Virginia, where he had lived for 20 years, in 1992 Hagel moved back to Nebraska to become president of the McCarthy Group, LLC, an investment banking firm. … Read More
1995 48 Years Old On March 15, 1995, Hagel resigned from the board of AIS as he intended to run for office. … Read More
1996 49 Years Old 1 More Event
…  A member of the Republican Party, Hagel was first elected to the United States Senate in 1996.


1998 - 1999 2 More Events
He was reelected in 2002, but did not run in 2008.
2004 57 Years Old In August 2004 Hagel acknowledged that he was considering a presidential campaign in 2008. … Read More
On August 18, 2005, Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam, and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes."
In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove's statement that the Republican and Democratic worldviews were "pre-9/11" and "post-9/11", respectively. … Read More


In January 2007, Hagel openly criticized President Bush's plan to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. … Read More
In 2008, along with then-Senator (and presumptive Democratic nominee for president) Barack Obama, and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Hagel visited Iraq in a congressional delegation trip, meeting with U.S. service members, General David Petraeus, and the Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki. … Read More
2009 - 2011 5 More Events
In 2012 he endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska.
On January 7, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense. … Read More
After Yanukovych's impeachment and the beginning of the Crimean crisis in February 2014, Hagel warned Russia against military maneuvers "that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation during a very delicate time". … Read More
2015 68 Years Old 1 More Event
In December 2015, during an interview with Foreign Policy, Hagel stated he was "backstabbed" and accused administration officials of making anonymous comments after his resignation in an effort to destroy his reputation.
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