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President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States (1953-61), President of Columbia University (1948-53), U.S. Army chief of staff (1945-48), Supreme Commander of World War II European Allied Forces (1943-45), and a five star U.S. General.

Following a distinguished military career, he served two terms as U.S. President. He is credited with bringing the Korean War to an end and ushering in a lengthy period of economic growth, low inflation, low taxes, peace and prosperity.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: David Dwight Eisenhower *

Nickname: Ike

Date, time and place of birth: October 14, 1890, at 5:19 p.m., at the corner of Lamar Avenue and Day Street, Denison, Texas, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: March 28, 1969, at 12:35 p.m., Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington D.C. (Heart failure)

Marriage
Spouse: Mamie Geneva Doud (m. July 1, 1916 - March 28, 1969) (his death)
Wedding took place at 12 noon, in the first-floor music room of the Doud family home at 750 Lafayette Street, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. **

Children
Sons: Doud Dwight "Icky" Eisenhower (b. September 24, 1917, Denver, Colorado - d. January 2, 1921, Camp Meade, Maryland, of scarlet fever)
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (b. August 3, 1922, Denver, Colorado - present)

Family/Relatives
Siblings: Arthur Bradford Eisenhower (b. November 11, 1886, Hope, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. January 26, 1958, Kansas City, Missouri)
Edgar Newton Eisenhower (b. January 19, 1889, Hope, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. July 12, 1971, Tacoma, Washington)
Roy Jacob Eisenhower (b. August 9, 1892, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. June 17, 1942, Junction City, Geary County, Kansas)
Paul Eisenhower (b. May 12, 1894, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. March 16, 1895, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, of diphtheria)
Earl Dewey Eisenhower (b. February 1, 1898, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. December 18, 1968, Scottsdale, Arizona)
Milton Stover Eisenhower (b. September 15, 1899, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas - d. May 2, 1985, Baltimore, Maryland***) (brothers)

Parents
Father: David Jacob Eisenhower (b. September 23, 1863, Elizabethville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania - d. March 10, 1942, Hope, Dickinson County, Kansas) (a mechanic/railroad worker/shopkeeper/gas company manager)
Mother: Ida Elizabeth (Stover) Eisenhower (b. May 1, 1862, Mount Sidney, Virginia - d. September 11, 1946, Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas)

Burial site: Place of Meditation, Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas, U.S.A.

Error corrections or clarifications

* President Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower, not Dwight David Eisenhower as some sources report. His family had always addressed him by his middle name (Dwight) to differentiate him from his father, who was also named David, and later came to be known as Dwight David Eisenhower. Birth records, the Eisenhower family bible, and the Eisenhower's themselves, all confirm he was born David Dwight Eisenhower, and later transposed his first and middle names.

** A newspaper marriage announcement reversed the last two digits of the Doud family's home address, erroneously reporting Lieutenant Eisenhower married Mamie at "705 Lafayette" in Denver, instead of the correct address of 750 Lafayette Street, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

*** A couple of sources have confused Earl Dewey Eisenhower's year and place of death with both Milton Eisenhower and John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower. Consequently, you may find both John and Milton erroneously listed as having died in 1968, when, in point of fact, they both lived many years beyond that.

One final clarification:
Doud Dwight Eisenhower's nickname was originally "Little Ike" but it was changed within a few days of his birth to "Ikey" then changed again to "Ikky" and was spelled that way throughout his short life. Years later, "Icky" became the preferred spelling, and even former President Eisenhower began offering that spelling in his memoirs.


Biography - Selected writing credits - Hobbies

David Dwight Eisenhower (later changed to Dwight David Eisenhower) was the third of seven sons. In his book The White House Years, Volume I: Mandate for Change, 1953-56, Ike described his childhood: "The life we had together - my father, mother, brothers and I had been complete, stimulating, and informative, with opportunity available to us for the asking. We had been poor, but one of the glories of America, at the time, was that we didn't know it. It was a good, secure, small-town life, and that we wanted for luxuries didn't occur to any of us."

The future 34th President of the United States graduated from Abilene High School in 1909. In 1911 he obtained an appointment to the West Point Military Academy, graduating June 12th, 1915. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 19th Infantry, San Antonio, Texas. It was there in October 1915, that he met his future wife. Dwight D. Eisenhower's courtship of young Mamie was brief. They were formally engaged Valentine's Day 1916. The couple had originally planned a November wedding, but circumstances forced them to move the date up several months. At 12 noon on July 1st, 1916, they were wed in the first-floor music room of the Doud family home at 750 Lafayette Street, Denver, Colorado. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend William Williamson, visiting from Leicester, England.

The newlyweds set up housekeeping in Ike's bachelor quarters at Fort Sam Houston. Mrs. Eisenhower, who had been raised in prosperous surroundings, admitted that it was actually Ike who taught her to cook. It would be the first of more than thirty homes they would share, as necessitated by his military and political career. She often moved with Ike to various Army posts around the world as he quickly worked his way up in the ranks. Conditions during the early years were sometimes less than ideal. One good example was their "home" in the Panama Canal Zone, which leaked during the frequent rains, and was infested with bats.

They had two sons, Doud Dwight Eisenhower, born September 24th, 1917, and
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, born August 3rd, 1922. Tragically, their first son died of scarlet fever at the age of three. His death remained an open wound from which the couple would never fully recover.

His distinguished military career included assignments such as assistant executive to the assistant Secretary of War (1929-33), assistant to General Douglas MacArthur (1935-39), and supreme commander of European Allied Forces (1943-45). Following the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Eisenhower became one of the most decorated military men in history. Not only were numerous prestigious honors bestowed upon him by the United States, but grateful nations around the world lined up to confer their highest honors on him.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower next served as U.S. Army chief of staff (1945-48), and President of Columbia University (1948-53). December 19th, 1950, he was granted a leave of absence from Columbia University to serve as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Europe. May 31st, 1952 he retired from active service, and in July of '52, resigned from the Army to run for President.

Ending the war in Korea was one of his principal campaign promises. After his victory over Democratic challenger
Adlai Stevenson, he set about fulfilling that promise. Ike laid the groundwork for ending the war, before he'd even taken office. In July of 1953, just months after his inauguration, he delivered on his campaign pledge, bringing the Korean War to an end.

Despite suffering a heart attack September 24th, 1955, President Eisenhower was easily reelected in 1956. While serving his second term in office, he suffered a stroke (November 25th, 1957), but made a quick recovery. Under his leadership, the United States experienced an extended period of economic growth, low inflation, low taxes, peace and prosperity. Both in his military and political career, Eisenhower was known as a superb administrator. He was a natural leader with an exceptional ability to organize, delegate authority, and mediate.

Eisenhower was responsible for signing legislation authorizing funding for the modernization and integration of American roads into a national interstate highway system. It was a massive public works program that ranked amongst the largest in U.S. history.

September 11th, 1956, President Eisenhower founded People to People International to promote "international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures. People to People International is dedicated to enhancing cross-cultural communication within each community, and across communities and nations. Tolerance and mutual understanding are central themes. While not a partisan or political institution, PTPI supports the basic values and goals of its founder, President Dwight D. Eisenhower." The organization is also known for its presentation of the prestigious Eisenhower Medallion. The Eisenhower Medallion is presented to an internationally known individual or organization in recognition of their exceptional contribution to world peace and understanding.

Following two terms in the White House, the former President retired to his Gettysburg farm. Mamie had overseen the major reconstruction of the home, and they were finally able to actually enjoy some quiet time alone. They traveled extensively, Ike was able to really enjoy his golf, and they were both doting grandparents. While golfing February 6th, 1968, in Palm Springs, California, 77-year-old former President Eisenhower achieved every golfer's dream. He scored a hole-in-one on the par 3, thirteenth hole at the Seven Lakes Country Club. Ike's health worsened as the 1960s progressed. He died March 28th, 1969, and Mamie died ten years later, November 1st, 1979.

Businessman
Albert Pick, Jr. said of him: "Mr. Eisenhower lived life to its fullest and left behind him an enviable record of greatness. He was a man of courage, a man of the highest integrity, a religious man, and a man of peace--truly a man of all seasons."

Selected writing credits:
Crusade in Europe (1948)
Peace with Justice: Selected Addresses (1961)
The White House Years, Volume I: Mandate for Change, 1953-56 (1963)
The White House Years, Volume II: Waging Peace, 1956-61 (1965)
At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends (1967)
In Review, Pictures I've Kept: A Concise Pictorial "Autobiography" (1969)

Hobbies/sidelines:
Golf, oil painting, fishing, hunting, skeet shooting, cooking, and in his youth, football.

Eisenhower took up painting late in life, and actually became quite skilled. He had a long-term correspondence with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who also enjoyed painting. One of Ike's most famous paintings was of Churchill, which demonstrated he'd become quite an accomplished artist in a very short time.

Sources

The most in-depth of more than four dozen sources consulted in preparing this profile:
Crusade in Europe, by Dwight D. Eisenhower (1948)
In Review, Pictures I've Kept, by Dwight D. Eisenhower (1969)
Mrs. Ike: Portrait of a Marriage, by Susan Eisenhower (2002)
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman, edited by Joann P. Krieg (1987)
Eisenhower: A Centennial Life, by Michael R. Beschloss (1990)
Eisenhower, by Stephen E. Ambrose (1990)
Dwight D. Eisenhower: A Man Called Ike, by Jean Darby (1989)
Ike and Mamie: The Story of the General and His Lady, by Lester and Irene David.


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