Melvin Robert “Bom” Laird was born on September 1, 1922, and died on November 16, 2016.
He was an American politician and writer.
Laird was a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin from 1953 to 1969 before serving as Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973 under President Richard Nixon.
He was instrumental in forming the administration’s policy of withdrawing U.S. soldiers from the Vietnam War; he invented the expression “Vietnamization,” referring to the process of transferring more responsibility for combat to the South Vietnamese forces.
He was first elected to the 83rd Congress in 1952, Melvin Laird was the oldest surviving Representative from the earliest elected Congress at the time of his death.
Melvin Laird passed away at 94 years old.