A nuclear physicist, Brown led the Pentagon to modernise the military with weapons including precision-guided cruise missiles

Harold Brown, who as defense secretary in the Carter administration championed cutting-edge fighting technology during a tenure that included the failed rescue of hostages in Iran, has died at age 91.

Brown died from pancreatic cancer on Friday, said the Rand Corp, the California-based thinktank which Brown served as a trustee for more than 35 years. His sister, Leila Brennet, said he died at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

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