Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower, 1890 - 1969

portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Official portrait as president (ca. 1952-1955)
Dwight D. Eisenhower signature
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Born: 14 October 1890, Denison, Texas
Died: 28 March 1969, Washington City

After growing up at Abilene, Kansas, graduating from Abilene High School in 1909, he was turned down by the Naval Academy (missing the age cutoff) but accepted at West Point. The class of 1915 became known as "the class the stars fell on", of 164 graduates a total of 59 reached the rank of general. His first posting was to San Antonio where he met and married Mamie. He served in staff and training positions until the start of World War II, when he was posted to London. He took command of the invasion of North Africa in 1942, the outset of the Italian campaign, and then commanded all Allied forces for the Normandy invasion. Although he never saw combat, he had to develop the ability to deal some strong characters both among the Army leadership and the Allies.

After the war he was president of Columbia University, Supreme Commander of NATO, and was drafted by the Republican Party to block the candidacy of non-interventionist Robert Taft, winning two terms with lopsided victories over Adlai Stevenson, his vice president was Richard Nixon. Based on his early Army experience and his exposure to Germany's Autobahn he championed the Interstate Highway System. Eisenhower used threats of nuclear weapons to force a settlement of the Korean War but took over French responsibility to support South Vietnam and planned the Bay of Pigs invasion which flopped after he left office. Although his support for civil rights seem anemic compared to the following decade, significant steps were made and he did send troops to Arkansas to enforce integration following Brown v. Board of Education in 1957. After leaving office his commission and five stars were restored, he and Mamie retired to a farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Eisenhower had a number of health issues in office and in the years following, he died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center of congestive heart failure.

Biography from Wikipedia and the White House

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