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President Reagan Attends Caspar Weinberger Farewell Ceremony
Outgoing Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger (L) points out something of interest as he and President Reagan attend a farewell ceremony for Weinberger. The president took the occasion to endorse the Star Wars missile defense system, saying "We will not disarm unilaterally in this one area, or any area." (UPI Photo/Tim Clary/FILES)
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Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger (August 18, 1917 – March 28, 2006), was an American politician, vice president and general counsel of Bechtel Corporation, and Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan from January 21, 1981, until November 23, 1987, making him the third longest-serving defense secretary to date, after Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld. He is also known for his role in the Strategic Defense Initiative and the Iran-Contra Affair.

Weinberger was born in San Francisco, California, the younger of two sons of Herman Weinberger, a Colorado-born lawyer. His mother, the former Cerise Carpenter Hampson, was an accomplished violinist whose parents were immigrants from England. Weinberger was named "Caspar" for a friend of his mother's; his father began calling him "Cap", a nickname that stuck into adulthood.

Weinberger was a first cousin of the nationally-broadcast radio personality Don McNeill of Don McNeill's Breakfast Club; their mothers were sisters-in-law. Caspar Weinberger's father Herman was the younger brother of Luella Weinberger McNeill, mother of Don McNeill. The 1910 Census shows Herman and Luella living in the household of Nathan Weinberger, the grandfather of Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger was a sickly child and required close nurturing from his mother; in time, he overcame his poor health and shyness.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Caspar Weinberger."
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