A scandal has cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job

Gen. David Petraeus (L) with his wife, Holly Petraeus (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Several U.S. officials say the former general carried on an affair with his biographer and reserve Army officer Paula Broadwell.

The officials say the FBI discovered the relationship by monitoring Petraeus' emails, after being alerted Broadwell may have had access to his personal email account. Broadwell hasn't responded to voice mail or email messages seeking comment.

Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, told CIA employees in a statement that he had met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday and asked to be allowed to resign. On Friday, the president accepted. Petraeus calls his conduct "extremely poor judgment."

Petreaus and his wife have two children. Their son led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan.

He's being widely praised by Democrats and Republicans for his service. The president said Petraeus is "one of the outstanding general officers of his generation."

Highlights of Petraeus' career


CIA Director David Petraeus (Spencer Platt, Getty Images)

Highlights from of the career of David Petraeus, 60, the Iraq and Afghan war general who went on to lead the CIA until he announced Friday that he resigned because he had been carrying on an extramarital affair:

— Graduated in 1974 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as a second lieutenant committed to a career in the infantry.

— Married Holly Knowlton, the West Point superintendent's daughter, two months after graduation, then then served in Italy with a parachute infantry unit.

— Earned masters and doctorate degrees from Princeton in the 1980s and taught international relations at West Point.

— Rose through the Army ranks in a series of assignments, including executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and stints in Haiti and Bosnia.

— Led the 101st Airborne Division across the Iraqi desert at the beginning of the 2003 war, was promoted to three-star general and put in charge of training the new Iraqi army.

— Assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after his Iraq tour to oversee leadership training, wrote a manual on how to fight a counterinsurgency campaign.

— Tapped to head U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 and is widely credited with saving the country from civil war by orchestrating a surge in U.S. troops.

— Appointed commander of U.S. Central Command in 2008, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

— Underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2009 and a year later became the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

— Retired from the military in 2011 and appointed as CIA director.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)