Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. (December 2, 1924 – February 20, 2010) was a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, the second-highest ranking officer in the Army, and as Supreme Allied Commander Europe commanding all U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.
A veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War, Haig was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart.
Haig was born in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. He was the middle of three children of Alexander Meigs Haig, Sr., a Republican lawyer, and his wife Regina Anne Murphy. When Haig was 10, his father, aged 38, died of cancer, and his Irish American mother raised her children in the Catholic church. He attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia and graduated from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He then studied at the University of Notre Dame for two years, before transferring to the United States Military Academy, where he graduated in 1947. Haig later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School in 1955 and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 1961. His thesis examined the role of military officers in making national policy.