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Ex-Pentagon, CIA chief Schlesinger dies at 85 from complications of pneumonia

Published on Mar 28, 2014 9:23 AM
 
A Harvard-educated economist who became a powerful figure in the 1970s, as well as an influential nuclear strategist, Schlesinger served as defence secretary under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was named the country's first energy secretary under Jimmy Carter. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - James Schlesinger, a tenacious, blunt-talking former Pentagon chief who served as a cabinet officer under three US presidents, died on Thursday. He was 85.

A Harvard-educated economist who became a powerful figure in the 1970s, as well as an influential nuclear strategist, Schlesinger served as defence secretary under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was named the country's first energy secretary under Jimmy Carter.

"Secretary Schlesinger was a brilliant economist and had a keen understanding of defence budgeting, our country's nuclear enterprise, and our most advanced weapons programs," Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank where Schlesinger served as a trustee, confirmed his death.

 
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