BALTIMORE, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Retired Gen. Alexander Haig Jr., a top official to three U.S. presidents, died Saturday at age 85 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, officials said.
Haig was admitted to Johns Hopkins Jan. 28 with an infection and died at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, hospital spokesman Gary Stephenson told CNN.
Haig, a four-star Army general, served as commander of NATO and secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, and in 1988 ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination. Haig also served as a senior adviser in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.
Haig gained notoriety in 1981 after President Reagan was shot and wounded and then Vice President George H.W. Bush was en route from Texas to Washington.
"As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending the return of the vice president," Haig declared shortly after the shooting.
Haig was born in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, and attended the University of Notre Dame for two years before transferring to the U.S. Military Academy in 1944. After graduation in 1947, he served in Japan and led combat units in Korea and in Vietnam.
Camp David, known formally as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, is the President’s country residence. Located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David has offered Presidents an opportunity for solitude and tranquility, as well as an ideal place to host foreign leaders.
Adapted from the federal employee retreat Hi-Catoctin, President Franklin Roosevelt established the residence as USS Shangri La, modeling the new main lodge after the Roosevelt winter vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia. President Eisenhower subsequently renamed the institution in honor of his grandson David.
Camp David has been used extensively to host foreign dignitaries. Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain attended the first such meeting in May of 1943; the summit held at the residence in 1978 for Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin resulted in what are now known as the Camp David Accords. (30 Photos)