Excerpted from “Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig Dies at 85” By STEPHEN MILLER, The Wall Street Journal
, FEBRUARY 20, 2010, 3:35 P.M. ET
ormer Secretary of State Alexander Haig, a retired four-star Army general who advised three presidents, died Saturday at age 85 of complications from an infection.
Gen. Haig was a prominent figure in American politics for more than a decade, particularly as a top adviser to President Richard M. Nixon and as the first secretary of state for President Ronald Reagan.
His most famous moment in public life occurred March 30, 1981, the day President Reagan was gravely wounded by a would-be assassin, when Gen. Haig announced to the hastily assembled White House press corps that "I am in control here, in the White House."
Gen. Haig later said that what critics interpreted as a constitutional error or power grab was merely an effort to reassure Americans that the government was stable amid crisis. …