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Michael Hayden Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


Birth date: March 17, 1945

Birth place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Birth name: Michael Vincent Hayden

Father: Harry Hayden

Mother: Sadie Hayden

Marriage: Jeanine (Carrier) Hayden

Children: Margaret, Michael and Liam

Education: Duquesne University, B.A, 1967; Duquesne University, M.A., 1969

Military service: US Air Force, 1967-2008, General

Other Facts

Is a retired four-star general.

Is a distinguished visiting professor and founder of the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University.

Worked as a cab driver during college.


January 1970-January 1972 – Analyst at Headquarters Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

January 1972-May 1975 – Chief of Current Intelligence Division at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

July 1975-August 1979 – Academic Instructor at Reserve Officer Training Corps Program, St. Michael’s College in Vermont.

June 1980-July 1982 – Chief of Intelligence, 51st Tactical Fighter Wing, Osan Air Force Base, South Korea.

1984-1986 РAir attaché, US Embassy, Bulgaria.

1986-1989 – Political-Military Affairs Officer, US Air Force Headquarters.

1989-1991 – Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council.

1991-1993 – Chief, Secretary of the Air Force Staff Group.

1993-1995 – Director of Intelligence, US European Command.

1996-1997 – Commander, Air Intelligence Agency, and Director, Joint Command and Control Warfare Center.

1997-1999 – Deputy Chief of Staff, United Nations Command and US Forces Korea.

1999-2005 – Director of the National Security Agency.

April 2005 – Is appointed principal deputy director of national intelligence.

May 8, 2006 – President George W. Bush nominates Hayden to be director of the CIA.

May 30, 2006 – Is sworn in as the director of the CIA.

February 5, 2008 – During congressional testimony, Hayden acknowledges for the first time that the CIA has used waterboarding in the interrogations of detainees.

July 1, 2008 – Retires from the Air Force.

February 12, 2009 – Steps down as the director of the CIA.

February 13, 2009 – Leon Panetta is sworn in as the new director of the CIA.

April 2009 – Joins the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm founded by Michael Chertoff, former Department of Homeland Security secretary.

September 11, 2014 – In an interview with U.S. News and World Report, Hayden compares the White House strategy of using air strikes against ISIS to casual sex. Hayden says, “The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.”

December 9, 2014 – The Senate releases a report criticizing the CIA’s interrogation tactics used against terrorist detainees during the Bush era. Hayden responds in an interview with Politico, calling the Senate’s conclusions “analytically offensive.”

February 23, 2016 – Hayden’s book, “Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror,” is published.

August 9, 2016 – After signing a letter, along with 49 other Republican national security officials, declaring Donald Trump unqualified to be president, Hayden tells CNN that Trump represents a “clear and present danger” and says he “fears for our future” if Trump governs as he has campaigned.

November 23, 2018 – According to a statement released by his family, Hayden suffers a stroke at home earlier in the week.

January 18, 2019 – Hayden returns home after suffering a stroke.

October 7, 2020 – Hayden tells CNN’s Jim Sciutto that reelecting Trump would be “very bad for America,” while endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president.

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