Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg
34th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
Vice PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byHarry S. Truman
Succeeded byJohn F. Kennedy
1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe
In office
April 2, 1951 – May 30, 1952
PresidentHarry S. Truman
DeputyArthur Tedder
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMatthew Ridgway
16th Chief of Staff of the Army
In office
November 19, 1945 – February 6, 1948
PresidentHarry S. Truman
DeputyJ. Lawton Collins
Preceded byGeorge Marshall
Succeeded byOmar Bradley
Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany
In office
May 8, 1945 – November 10, 1945
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGeorge S. Patton (acting)
13th President of Columbia University
In office
June 7, 1948 – January 19, 1953
Preceded byFrank D. Fackenthal (acting)
Succeeded byGrayson L. Kirk
Personal details
Born
David Dwight Eisenhower

(1890-10-14)October 14, 1890
Denison, Texas, U.S.
DiedMarch 28, 1969(1969-03-28) (aged 78)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeDwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Mamie Doud (m. 1916)
Children
MotherIda Stover
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
SignatureCursive signature in ink
Military service
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1915–1953
1961–1969[1]
RankUS-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (5)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Full list

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (ər/ EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful Invasion of Normandy in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower in Denison, Texas, and he was raised in Kansas in a large family of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. His family had a strong religious background. His mother was a Lutheran, married as a River Brethren, and later became a Jehovah's Witness. Eisenhower, however, did not belong to any organized church until 1952. He cited constant relocation during his military career as one reason.[2] He graduated from West Point in 1915 and later married Mamie Doud, with whom he had two sons. During World War I, he was denied a request to serve in Europe and instead commanded a unit that trained tank crews. Following the war, he served under various generals and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1941. After the United States entered World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the invasions of North Africa and Sicily before supervising the invasions of France and Germany. After the war, he served as Army Chief of Staff (1945–1948) and then took on the role as president of Columbia University (1948–1953). In 1951–52, he served as the first Supreme Commander of NATO.

In 1952, Eisenhower entered the presidential race as a Republican to block the isolationist foreign policies of Senator Robert A. Taft, who opposed NATO and wanted no foreign entanglements. He won that election and the 1956 election in landslides, both times defeating Adlai Stevenson II. He became the first Republican to win since Herbert Hoover in 1928. Eisenhower's main goals in office were to contain the spread of communism and reduce federal deficits. In 1953, he threatened to use nuclear weapons until China agreed to peace terms in the Korean War. China did agree and an armistice resulted which remains in effect. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing funding for expensive Army divisions. He continued Harry S. Truman's policy of recognizing the Republic of China as the legitimate government of China, and he won congressional approval of the Formosa Resolution. His administration provided major aid to help the French fight off Vietnamese Communists in the First Indochina War. After the French left, he gave strong financial support to the new state of South Vietnam. He supported military coups in Iran and Guatemala. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, he condemned the Israeli, British, and French invasion of Egypt, and he forced them to withdraw. He also condemned the Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but took no action. During the Syrian Crisis of 1957 he approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-Western neighbors.[3] After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the Space Race. He deployed 15,000 soldiers during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. Near the end of his term, he failed to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets when a U.S. spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. He approved the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was left to John F. Kennedy to carry out.[4]

On the domestic front, Eisenhower was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking executive privilege. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders which integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. His largest program was the Interstate Highway System. He promoted the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act. His two terms saw widespread economic prosperity except for a minor recession in 1958. In his farewell address to the nation, he expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers. Historical evaluations of his presidency place him among the upper tier of American presidents.

Family background

The Eisenhower family home, Abilene, Kansas

The Eisenhauer (German for "iron hewer/miner") family migrated from Karlsbrunn in Nassau-Saarbrücken, to America, first settling in York, Pennsylvania, in 1741, and in the 1880s moving to Kansas.[5] Accounts vary as to how and when the German name Eisenhauer was anglicized to Eisenhower.[6] Eisenhower's Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors, who were primarily farmers, included Hans Nikolaus Eisenhauer of Karlsbrunn, who migrated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1741.[7]

Hans's great-great-grandson, David Jacob Eisenhower (1863–1942), was Eisenhower's father and was a college-educated engineer, despite his own father Jacob's urging to stay on the family farm. Eisenhower's mother, Ida Elizabeth (Stover) Eisenhower, born in Virginia, of German Protestant ancestry, moved to Kansas from Virginia. She married David on September 23, 1885, in Lecompton, Kansas, on the campus of their alma mater, Lane University.[8]

David owned a general store in Hope, Kansas, but the business failed due to economic conditions and the family became impoverished. The Eisenhowers then lived in Texas from 1889 until 1892, and later returned to Kansas, with $24 (equivalent to $669 in 2018) to their name at the time. David worked as a railroad mechanic and then at a creamery.[8] By 1898, the parents made a decent living and provided a suitable home for their large family.[9]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Duayt Eyzenhauer
Bân-lâm-gú: Dwight D. Eisenhower
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Дўайт Дэйвід Эйзэнгаўэр
Bikol Central: Dwight D. Eisenhower
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Bahasa Indonesia: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lëtzebuergesch: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lingua Franca Nova: Dwight David Eisenhower
مازِرونی: دوایت آیزنهاور
Bahasa Melayu: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Nordfriisk: Dwight Eisenhower
norsk nynorsk: Dwight D. Eisenhower
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Dwight Eisenhower
Plattdüütsch: Dwight David Eisenhower
Simple English: Dwight D. Eisenhower
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Dwight D. Eisenhower
татарча/tatarça: Dwayt Eyzenhauer
українська: Дуайт Ейзенхауер
Tiếng Việt: Dwight D. Eisenhower