Dick Cheney Talks Of A Secret Resignation Letter In Memoirs

Published: August 27, 2021

The former Vice President Dick Cheney, has revealed in his memoirs, “My Time” that he kept a secret resignation letter locked for nearly all of the eight years of his Vice Presidency. Cheney said he wrote the letter and signed it in 2001 shortly after taking office and kept it away to use it, in case he felt he could not fulfill his duties. “I did it because I was concerned that - for a couple of reasons,” Cheney told Gangel. “One was my own health situation. The possibility that I might have a heart attack or a stroke that would be incapacitating.”

“And, there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can’t function,” Cheney added.

Cheney went on to say that former President George W. Bush and one staffer were the only people who knew of the letters existence. He locked the letter in a safe, and no one else had seen the letter until now. Cheney discussed the secret letter in an interview with NBC News to promote the release of his memoir.

Before becoming Vice President Cheney had already had 4 heart attacks. Cheney’s long histories of cardiovascular disease and periodic need for urgent health care raised questions of whether he was medically fit to serve in public office. Once a heavy smoker, Cheney sustained the first of five heart attacks in 1978, at age 37. Subsequent attacks in 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2010 have resulted in moderate contractile dysfunction of his left ventricle. He underwent four-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting in 1988, coronary artery stenting in November 2000, urgent coronary balloon angioplasty in March 2001, and the implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in June, 2001.

Cheney now 70, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Marjorie Lorraine and Richard Herbert Cheney. He is of predominantly English and Welsh ancestry; Cheney’s 8th great-grandfather, William Cheney immigrated from England to Massachusetts in the 17th century. Although not a direct descendant, he is collaterally related to Benjamin Pierce Cheney (1815–1895), the early American expressman. Cheney is a distant cousin of both Harry S. Truman and Barack Obama; the three share a common ancestor in Mareen Duvall, a Huguenot who fled from France to England in the 17th century and later settled in Maryland.

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