'Faithful steward of our armed forces': Reactions to Donald Rumsfeld's death

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The death of Donald Rumsfeld – Republican powerbroker, controversial Defense Secretary and architect of the Iraq war – days before his 89th birthday from multiple myeloma has drawn reaction from lawmakers, presidents and more.

Here is a look at how he is being remembered:

More: Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88. The former defense secretary oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan wars

Gallery: Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense secretary, dies at age 88

By former presidents

In a statement Wednesday, former President George W. Bush lauded Rumsfeld, who served as Bush's defense secretary, as a "faithful steward of our armed forces."

"A period that brought unprecedented challenges to our country and to our military also brought out the best qualities in Secretary Rumsfeld," the statement reads. "A man of intelligence, integrity, and almost inexhaustible energy, he never paled before tough decisions, and never flinched from responsibility.

"...All his life, he was good-humored and big-hearted, and he treasured his family above all else," Bush's statement continues. "Laura and I are very sorry to learn of Don’s passing, and we send our deepest sympathy to Joyce and their children. We mourn an exemplary public servant and a very good man."

Lawmakers, political figures

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham reacted to news of Rumsfeld's death on Twitter, noting he was "very sad" to hear of Rumsfeld's passing.

"While we had our differences, Secretary Rumsfeld was a great patriot who loved our military and our men and women in uniform," Graham tweeted Wednesday.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who presently serves as director of Stanford's Hoover Institute, also tweeted in honor of Rumsfeld.

"Don Rumsfeld was a remarkable and committed public servant," she tweeted Wednesday. "He was also a good friend and a steady presence throughout the many trials of the post-9/11 world. I will miss him as a colleague and as a friend. Joyce and the family will be in my thoughts and prayers."

On social media

Reactions on social media to Rumsfeld's death ranged from honoring his decades of service to criticizing the role he played in the Iraq war.

More: 'Known unknowns': Donald Rumsfeld's most famous — and infamous — quotes

Some honored their brief interactions with the two-time defense secretary.

Born in Chicago in 1932, Rumsfeld graduated from Princeton University, where he was a collegiate wrestler and commissioned as a U.S. Navy aviator and flight instructor. He served on active duty from 1954-57. He later became //a staffer on Capitol Hill, worked as an investment banker, served as a Republican congressman from Illinois and at a post in the Nixon administration, according to his congressional biography.

In 1975, Rumsfeld was selected to serve as the 13th defense secretary — the youngest person to hold that position in the country's history, according to the Department of Defense's historical website. After working in the private sector for 23 years, Rumsfeld later returned to that position, assuming the role of the 21st secretary of defense. He was appointed to that role in January 2001.

There were a series of high-profile controversies during his tenure, including the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. The detention at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of combatants and others scooped up on battlefields in the Middle East, continues to //this day. Most of the detainees have been released to host countries, but others await military trials.

He died Tuesday due to multiple myeloma, according to his spokesman, Keith Urbahn.

"It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico," the family said in a statement released Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Rumsfeld: Former president Bush, more react to his death