Obama's likely pick for Pentagon head is Mpls. broadcasting school alum


Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is reportedly President Obama's choice to lead the Defense Department during his second administration. The Associated Press reports that during his years in the Senate Obama established a rapport with Hagel in their overseas travels.

While Hagel's roots are in Nebraska, he's no stranger to Minnesota. The educational section of his biography starts with his 1966 degree from Brown Institute for Radio and Television, a Minneapolis school now known as Brown College.

Hagel is part of a non-profit educational group called the Horatio Alger Association, whose members have persevered through adversity to make a difference in the world. That group's page on Hagel explains that the family's finances were tight after Chuck's father died suddenly when he was 16. While a student in Minneapolis, he also worked full-time in a department store and sold encyclopedias at night. The following year, Hagel joined the Army and volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War.

In a video interview from that same site, Hagel glosses right over his time in Minneapolis, saying his was a checkered education not to be emulated.

He's on good terms with his alma mater, though. In 2010 Hagel returned to Brown to deliver a commencement speech and accept an award.

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