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Dwight D. Eisenhower Poster

Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 14 October 1890Denison, Texas, USA
Date of Death 28 March 1969Washington, District of Columbia, USA  (congestive heart failure)
Birth NameDavid Dwight Eisenhower
Nickname Ike
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on Tuesday, October 14, 1890, as Dwight David Eisenhower, in Denison, Texas. He was the third of seven sons born to David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stover. Both parents were of German descent. Eisenhower studied at the West Point Military Academy from 1911-1915. He served with the infantry, became the #3 leader of the tank corps, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the end of the First World War. From 1922-1924 he served in the Panama Canal Zone as executive officer to General, Fox Conner. From 1925-1926 he studied at the Command and General Staff College in Kansas, and from 1928-1933 he served as executive officer to Gen. George V. Moseley: Assistant Secretary of War, in Washington, DC.

Eisenhower was chief military aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur from 1933-1935. He accompanied MacArthur to the Philippines in 1935, and served there as assistant military adviser to the Philippine government until 1939. Back in Washington, he held various staff positions and was promoted to Brigadier General in September 1941. Shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, on Sunday, December 7th, 1941. Eisenhower was assigned to the General Staff. There he gradually rose to Assistant Chief of Staff under the Chief of Staff, Gen. George C. Marshall. Although Eisenhower had no experience in active military command, Marshall recognized his organizational and administrative strength. It was his association with Marshall that brought Eisenhower to London in June 1942 as Commanding General of the European Theater of Operations. He was also appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces of the North African Theater of Operations, which was renamed the Mediterranean Theater of Operations after the capitulation of the German army in Africa. In September of 1943 Eisenhower oversaw the Allied invasion of Sicily and then of Italy, which led to the immediate surrender of Italian forces in southern Italy. However, the German Winter Line fortifications in Italy, kept fighting even after the fall of Berlin.

Eisenhower was in charge of planning and carrying out the Allied landings in Normandy, France, and the invasion of Germany. The first part of his plan, named Operation Overlord, was the largest seaborne operation in history. Under this plan, 2.8 million Allied troops from 12 nations crossed the English Channel. Starting on Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, known as "D-Day", they landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. After extremely fierce heavy fighting, the Allies breached the fortifications and pushed back the defending German forces. Two months later they reached Paris. Adolf Hitler had ordered the German commander of Paris to destroy the city rather than let it fall into Allied hands, but that officer refused to carry out those orders and eventually surrendered the city to the Allies. After fighting that was not as fierce as was expected, the city of Paris was liberated on Friday, August 25th, 1944. Eisenhower was with French Gen. Charles de Gaulle at the Hotel de Ville, where they greeted the Allied forces and took part in the French victory parade. After liberating Belgium and the Netherlands, the Allied troops crossed into Germany. In 1945 US and Soviet armies linked up on the Elbe River, west of Berlin. Soon Eisenhower met with Russian Gen. Georgi Zhukov and the two made a trip to the Soviet Union; the first (and only) time Eisenhower did so. After the German surrender on Tuesday, May 8th, 1945, Eisenhower was made the Military Governor of the US Occupied Zone in Germany, based in Frankfurt, (where Anne Franke, a Jewess, died approximately three months earlier, in a concentration camp). He ordered the detailed search, documentation, photographing and widespread dissemination of what went on in the Nazi death camps. By actions such as these, Eisenhower began the process of documenting the horrors of the Holocaust.

Although he had never been in action himself, Eisenhower was respected as a brilliant military strategist and skilled political leader during the Second World War. He successfully dealt with conflicting demands from many sides, and managed to mollify such tough and determined personalities as Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Gen. Bernard L. Montgomery and Gen. George S. Patton. From 1945 to 1948 Eisenhower was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and from 1950-1952 was Supreme Commander of all NATO forces.

Eisenhower won the 1952 US presidential elections, with Richard Nixon as his Vice President, and brought the Republicans back to national power after 20 years. He was President from 1953-1960, becoming the first and only army general to serve as President in the 20th Century, formally becoming a civilian during his term in office. He ended the Korean War and offered peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin in 1953. He authorized the 1953 Iranian coup d'etat and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'etat. He invited Nikita Khrushchev to his first visit to the US in 1959, and hosted him at his farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where his children and grandchildren met the family of the Soviet leader. Shortly after that, however, the Soviets shot down an American U2 spy plane, captured the pilot and canceled Eisenhower's reciprocal visit to the Soviet Union. Relations between the two superpowers deteriorated very quickly, leading to an increasingly rapid nuclear arms race and a dangerous standoff in the Cold War.

Domestically, Eisenhower began the modernization and integration of American roads into the interstate highway system, modeled after the autobahn, which he saw in Germany. In spite of some serious setbacks with US-Soviet relations, overall his presidency was a successful example of a non-partisan approach to politics.

After his presidential term expired (US Presidents can only serve two terms), Eisenhower was again commissioned a five-star general in the army. He lived in retirement on his farm in Gettysburg, where he wrote his memoirs. He died on Friday, March 28th, 1969, at the Army Hospital in Washington, DC, and was laid to rest in Abilene, Kansas, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. The complete lifetime of Dwight D. Eisenhower, was from Tuesday, October 14th, 1890, to Friday, March 28th, 1969. He lived 28,654 days, equaling 4,093 weeks & 3 days.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Mamie Eisenhower (1 July 1916 - 28 March 1969) (his death) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Being a higher ranked General, he commanded 'Joseph S. Patton' to apologize to two privates, that Patton had slapped in the face, calling them cowards and profane names.

Trivia (45)

Decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal during WWI.
34th President of the USA, 1953-1961, winning 1952 and 1956 Presidential elections, in landslides.
He is referred to, by name, in Winston Churchill's V-E Day speech, Tuesday, May 8th, 1945.
Brother of Milton S. Eisenhower.
Former President of Columbia University.
His grandson, David Eisenhower, is married to Julie Nixon, daughter of former President Richard Nixon. Nixon served as Eisenhower's Vice President from 1953 to 1961.
Name at birth was David Dwight Eisenhower, although it was soon changed to Dwight David Eisenhower.
Tuesday, October 14th, 1969: Pictured on a 6¢ US memorial postage stamp issued in his honor (first birthday anniversary following his death).
Thursday, August 6th, 1970: Pictured on a 6¢ US postage stamp in the Prominent Americans series.
10/13/1990: Pictured on a 25¢ US commemorative postage stamp celebrating the centennial of his birth.
1944, 1959: Time Magazine's "Man of the Year".
1973: Inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
1952: Courted controversy during his re-election campaign when, fearing the power of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, he refused to defend his friend (and wartime superior) Secretary of State Gen. George C. Marshall, when McCarthy charged that Marshall was either a Communist or was being controlled by Communist agents.
6/6/44: He had strategic command of Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on the coast of Normandy. Although the landings turned out to be a resounding success (and were key to the eventual Allied victory in WW2), Eisenhower wasn't entirely certain they would succeed, and kept in his pocket a communique announcing the failure of the landings and accepting full responsibility.
Both he and his parents belonged to the Church of Bretheren in Christ, which opposed war and any kind of violence. Ironically, Eisenhower became a professional soldier despite his denomination's philosophy. Although his parents disapproved of his entering the military, they nonetheless allowed him to choose his own career.
Had many health problems during his two terms as President, including a severe heart attack in 1955, intestinal problems in 1956, and a minor stroke in 1957. Following another massive heart attack in December 1965, he rarely appeared in public until his final illness in 1969.
The first person to be elected U.S. President after the ratification of the 22nd Amendment (which limits a person's presidential service to two terms).
Smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day until 1949, and often drank 15 cups of coffee. He was also known to drink heavily. This unhealthy lifestyle undoubtedly contributed to his severe heart problems in later life.
Great-grandfather of Jennie Eisenhower.
Visited Soviet Union in 1945, on the invitation from Marshal Georgi Zhukov and the two commanders made a tour of the country together. In 1960 Eisenhower was invited by Nikita Khrushchev but canceled his visit for political reasons.
A moderate Republican, Eisenhower only reluctantly endorsed his Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 Presidential Election, and was deeply frustrated by the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964.
The Eisenhower family is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. His ancestors were Mennonites who fled from the Holy Roman Empire to Switzerland in the 17th century. Hans Nicol Eisenhauer and his family came to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1741. The family joined the River Brethren, and were pacifists during the nation's wars. They joined some 300 River Brethren in creating a colony in Kansas. After a brief sojourn in Denison, Texas, the family re-settled in Abilene, Kansas in 1892 as his father's job on the M-K-T (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) railroad, transferred him and the family from Denison, Texas to Abilene, Kansas.
In his last will and testament, executed in 1965, he left the bulk of his estate, valued at nearly $3 million in trust for the benefit of his wife Mamie. He also left various sums, totaling $11,500 to four military aides.
He was portrayed by Clive Francis in the original production of the play "Never So Good", by Howard Brenton , which premiered at the National Theatre, London, UK in March 2008.
First President of all 50 American United States, last President of 48 continental United States. He also signed Alaska's and Hawaii's statehood bills, in 1959, during his second term. Only President of 49 States, after Alaska was admitted, in January of 1959 and before Hawaii became the 50th United State, seven months later, in August of 1959.
According to the film's director Garson Kanin, when the movie "The True Glory" won the 1945 Academy Award as 'Best Documentary Feature', the Oscar went to the uncredited producer, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He is the last U.S. President, that was born in the nineteenth century and the last to have served in both World War I and World War II.
N. A. S. A. (North Aeronautics & Space Administration) was originally created during his second term, as President of the United States, on Tuesday, July 29th, 1958.
During second term in office, he signed a bill, adding under God after one nation, at conclusion of Pledge of Allegiance. Pledge concluded with 'one nation'. Now, it concludes with 'one nation under God'.
First U.S. President to appear on color television when he was televised at his 40th class reunion at the West Point United States Military Acadamy (June 6, 1955).
Among his favorite films was High Noon (1952).
According to his Vice President Richard Nixon, Eisenhower later greatly regretted opposing the Anglo-French attempt to topple the Egyptian dictator Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser during the Suez Crisis. In October 1965 Eisenhower told Republican fundraiser Max M. Fisher that he regretted forcing Israel to evacuate the Sinai peninsula.
Had absolutely no political experience when he ran for President of the United States.
In 1953 and 1954 he provided France with bombers and non-combat personnel to retain their colony of Vietnam. After a few months with no success by the French, he added other aircraft to drop napalm for clearing purposes. CIA files released in 2005 showed that American pilots flew in support of the French during Operation Castor in November 1953, and two US pilots were killed in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
He authorized two coup d'etats, firstly in Iran on 15-19 August 1953 and secondly in Guatemala on 18-27 June 1954. Both were illegal under international law.
Despite being a Five-star General, he never fought in combat personally.
The USA Eisenhower dollar coin, showing a profile of the general on the obverse, was minted from 1971-1978. Although intended for circulation, the majority were kept by collectors, rather than used in commerce.
The first US president limited to two terms of office. It was felt that if Eisenhower had been younger and in better health he would have been capable of winning a third term in 1960.
He was the last U.S. president to have been born during the 19th Century.
Despite being a Republican president, many historians and political analysts have noted that he is far more popular among Democrats and left-leaning people than conservatives.
When he saw the concentration camps used in the Holocaust, he rang both Washington DC and London and told Them to send photographers to capture what he saw as he did not want people to claim that any of it had been made up or exaggerated.
In March 1960 he ordered the CIA to devise the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was left to his successor John F. Kennedy to carry out. Critics maintained that Eisenhower would have provided air support for the invasion, as he did during the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. The original invasion plan required both aerial and naval support, but Kennedy felt this would make the US involvement too obvious.
Ordered the CIA to "eliminate" Patrice Lumumba, the pro-Soviet first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lumumba was assassinated on 17 January 1961, three days before Eisenhower left office.
In 1956, he received 39% of the black vote during his second presidential campaign. It's the best showing of a Republican nominee for U.S. President since 1936.

Personal Quotes (16)

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
[Final speech as USA's President, in January of 1961] In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
[from a letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower, dated Monday, November 8th, 1954] Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

To say, therefore, that in some instances the policies of this Administration have not been radically changed from those of the last is perfectly true. Both Administrations levied taxes, both maintained military establishments, customs officials, and so on.

But in all governmental fields of action a combination of purpose, procedure and objectives must be considered if you are to get a true evaluation of the relative merits.
Pessimism never won any battle.
[in 1960, when asked to name a decision that Richard Nixon made as his Vice President] If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don't remember.
[compliment by Army Staff official, George C. Marshall, on Tuesday, May 8th, 1945] You have made history, great history for the good of mankind.
The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.
[on Harry S. Truman] The man is a congenital liar.
[on Truman's handling of the Korean conflict] (He's) a fine man who, in the middle of a stormy lake, knows nothing of swimming. Yet a lot of drowning people are forced to look to him as a lifeguard. If his wisdom could only equal his good intent.
[looking at President Kennedy's inaugural reviewing stand, 1961] I feel like the fellow in jail who is watching his scaffold being built.
[from a speech in Abilene, just after V-E Day in 1945] Because no man is really a man who has lost out of himself all of the boy, I want to speak first of the dreams of a barefoot boy.
[on General Douglas MacArthur] I studied dramatics under him for twelve years.
[to the Allied Expeditionary Forces on D-Day, of Tuesday, June 6th, 1944] You are about to embark on a great crusade. The eyes of the world are upon you, and the hopes and prayers of all liberty-loving people go with you.

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