Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney was born in Lincoln, Neb., but he grew up in Casper, Wyo., where he met high school sweetheart and future wife Lynne. After graduating high school, Cheney went to Yale University, where he received a full scholarship, but poor grades led him to drop out of the Ivy League institution. That didn't deter him from continuing his education, so he enrolled at the University of Wyoming, receiving a B.A. in political science in 1965 and an M.A. in the same area of study a year later. His political career began in 1965, serving as a part-time legislative intern to the Wyoming senate. Working with the Republican-majority senate caused Cheney to associate professionally with the GOP despite being raised by Democratic parents. Winning a national writing contest landed Cheney a position as an aide to Wisconsin Gov. Warren Knowles. Cheney enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison but received a fellowship to work in Washington, D.C., for Wisconsin Rep. Bill Steiger before completing his dissertation. While working as Steiger's aide, Cheney wrote a memo about how Rep. Donald Rumsfeld should handle his confirmation hearings to become director of the Office of Economic Opportunity. Rumsfeld quickly hired Cheney after Steiger showed him the memo. That was the start of a long-lasting and powerful relationship between Cheney and Rumsfeld, who helped Cheney become President Gerald Ford's chief of staff in 1975 at the age of 34, making him the youngest person to hold that position to date. He was the campaign manager for Ford's re-election campaign in 1976, but the incumbent lost to Jimmy Carter. After that defeat, Cheney moved back to Wyoming to run for the state's only seat in the House of Representatives. He had a heart attack - the first of several - during his campaign, but he ended up winning the election, eventually being re-elected five more times. During his time in Congress, Cheney served as chairman of the House Republican Conference and House Minority Whip. When George H.W. Bush won the 1988 presidential election, he unexpectedly chose Cheney to be his Secretary of Defense, during which Cheney dealt with such issues as the fall of the Soviet Union, Operation Desert Storm and the downsizing of defense spending. When Bush lost to Bill Clinton in the 1992 election Cheney left government to join conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. He considered a presidential run in the 1996 election but instead chose the private sector, becoming CEO of oil company Halliburton in 1995. In 2000 Texas Gov. George W. Bush sought Cheney's input in choosing a running mate for that year's election, eventually asking Cheney to fill the role himself. Cheney accepted the offer and resigned from Halliburton to focus on the campaign. The Bush-Cheney ticket won the tightly contested race that November. Cheney didn't serve in a typical vice-presidential role, essentially acting as Bush's surrogate chief of staff, growing heavily involved in military and national security issues. In 2003 Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, controversially revealed the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence but declined to pardon him, a decision that Cheney publicly disagreed with. The two were also on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate, with Cheney in favor of making the act legal, given the fact that his younger daughter Mary was a lesbian. Cheney declined to seek the GOP nomination in the 2008 presidential election and largely remained out of the spotlight since leaving the White House, spending much of his time speaking and writing. He underwent a heart transplant procedure in 2012.