Warm tributes paid to Nixon-era chief of staff
Published 22/02/2010 | 05:00
Alexander Haig, a former US army general who became White House chief of staff during the Watergate scandal and secretary of state during the Reagan administration, died on Saturday at the age of 85.
A spokesman for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore said Mr Haig died from a staphylococcus infection acquired prior to his arrival at the hospital.
President Barack Obama praised Mr Haig on Saturday as a "great American". "General Haig exemplified our finest warrior-diplomat tradition of those who dedicate their lives to public service," he said.
Mr Haig emerged as one of the few hands untainted by Watergate and was widely credited with persuading Mr Nixon to avoid a divisive battle over impeachment by becoming the first US president to resign.
He was appointed secretary of state by Mr Reagan in 1981.
Hillary Clinton, Mr Obama's secretary of state, said Haig had earned "honour on the battlefield, the confidence of presidents and prime ministers, and the thanks of a grateful nation".