He began serving the Nixon administration in 1969. Under President Gerald Ford, Cheney became Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff. In 1977 he was elected to represent Wyoming in Congress, and was re-elected five times. In 1989 he became Secretary of Defense under President George Bush, and in this capacity played a significant role in the Gulf War of 1991.
Cheney joined the American Enterprise Institute in 1993. In 1995 he became President and CEO of the Halliburton Company, and energy services company. He sat on the board of Procter & Gamble, Union Pacific, and EDS.
Supporters of Mr. Cheney point to his reputation for knowledge and character. Opponents and detractors accuse him of being closely tied to the oil industry.