Ashton ‘Ash’ Carter, Obama’s Defense Secretary, Dies at 68

PHILADELPHIA CREAM — Former Secretary of Defense and Philadelphia native Ashton Carter has died suddenly at the age of 68, according to his family.

Carter died of a “sudden cardiac event” Monday night in Boston.

He served as Secretary of Defense under former President Barack Obama from February 2015 to January 2017.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter answers questions while speaking with U.S. Navy personnel during a visit to Naval Base San Diego February 3, 2016, in San Diego.

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Carter received a bachelor’s degree in physics and medieval history from Yale University and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He has also served on the advisory boards of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories and the Draper Laboratory.

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“I enjoy dusty archives, learning to decipher manuscripts in medieval script, and learning all the languages ​​necessary to read primary and secondary historical literature, especially Latin,” he wrote in a 2007 autobiographical sketch published by the Harvard University when he was in college. from the Kennedy School of Government.

Carter served as the Pentagon’s second-in-command from 2011 to 2013, spent two years as the department’s chief of technology and weapons procurement, and served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under the administration. by Bill Clinton.

He preferred to be called Ash rather than his first name, Ashton.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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