Dwight D. Eisenhower
Born: October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas
Died: March 28, 1969 in Washington
Married to Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower
Bringing to the Presidency his prestige as commanding
general of the victorious forces in Europe during World War II, Dwight
D. Eisenhower obtained
a truce in Korea and worked incessantly during his two terms to ease
the tensions of the Cold War. He pursued the moderate policies of "Modern
Republicanism," pointing out as he left office, "America
is today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation
Born in Texas in 1890, brought up in Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower was
the third of seven sons. He excelled in sports in high school, and received
an appointment to West Point. Stationed in Texas as a second lieutenant,
he met Mamie Geneva Doud, whom he married in 1916.
In his early Army career, he excelled in staff assignments, serving
under Generals John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, and Walter Krueger.
After Pearl Harbor, General George C. Marshall called him to Washington
for a war plans assignment. He commanded the Allied Forces landing in
North Africa in November 1942; on D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander
of the troops invading France.
After the war, he became President of Columbia University,
then took leave to assume supreme command over the new NATO forces being
in 1951. Republican emissaries to his headquarters near Paris persuaded
him to run for President in 1952.
"I like Ike" was an irresistible slogan; Eisenhower won a
Negotiating from military strength, he tried to reduce the strains of
the Cold War. In 1953, the signing of a truce brought an armed peace
along the border of South Korea. The death of Stalin the same year caused
shifts in relations with Russia.
New Russian leaders consented to a peace treaty neutralizing Austria.
Meanwhile, both Russia and the United States had developed hydrogen bombs.
With the threat of such destructive force hanging over the world, Eisenhower,
with the leaders of the British, French, and Russian governments, met
at Geneva in July 1955.
The President proposed that the United States and Russia exchange blueprints
of each other's military establishments and "provide within our
countries facilities for aerial photography to the other country." The
Russians greeted the proposal with silence, but were so cordial throughout
the meetings that tensions relaxed.
Suddenly, in September 1955, Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in Denver,
Colorado. After seven weeks he left the hospital, and in February 1956
doctors reported his recovery. In November he was elected for his second
In domestic policy the President pursued a middle course, continuing
most of the New Deal and Fair Deal programs, emphasizing a balanced budget.
As desegregation of schools began, he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas,
to assure compliance with the orders of a Federal court; he also ordered
the complete desegregation of the Armed Forces. "There must be no
second class citizens in this country," he wrote.
Eisenhower concentrated on maintaining world peace. He watched with
pleasure the development of his "atoms for peace" program--the
loan of American uranium to "have not" nations for peaceful
Before he left office in January 1961, for his farm in Gettysburg, he
urged the necessity of maintaining an adequate military strength, but
cautioned that vast, long-continued military expenditures could breed
potential dangers to our way of life. He concluded with a prayer for
peace "in the goodness of time." Both themes remained timely
and urgent when he died, after a long illness, on March 28, 1969.