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Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter dies at age 68

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who served during President Barack Obama’s second term, has died at the age of 68.

Carter “passed away Monday evening in Boston after a sudden cardiac event,” per a statement from the family, according to multiple reports.

During his time at the head of the Pentagon, he helped oversee the launch of the military campaign that would drive back the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq in addition to ending the ban on transgender officers in the military, later reinstated by the Trump administration. He opened all combat military jobs available to women as well.

During Obama’s first term, Carter served as the Deputy Secretary of State, and before that he served as the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.


Carter led the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School since leaving public service.

He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and their two children.

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