Biographies >>US Presidents
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
was the 34th President of the United States.
Served as President: 1953-1961
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Age at inauguration: 62
Born: October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas
Died: March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C.
Married: Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower
What is Dwight D. Eisenhower most known for?
Dwight D. Eisenhower is best known for being the supreme commander of the Allied forces during World War II. During his two terms as president, the country experienced economic prosperity and peace.
Dwight was born in Texas, but his parents moved to Abilene, Kansas while he was still young. It was in Abilene that he grew up with his 5 brothers. For some reason the boys liked to use the nickname "Ike". They called each other Big Ike, Little Ike, and Ugly Ike. The name stuck with Dwight and the phrase "We like Ike" became a big part of his presidential campaign.
Dwight graduated high school and went to work with his dad at the local creamery. His parents encouraged him to go to college. Since Dwight had grown up with a strong interest in the military, reading many books on military history, he decided to go the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Before He Became President
After graduating from West Point, Eisenhower entered the military service. He was a talented leader and soon rose in the military ranks.
World War II
During World War II, Eisenhower reached the highest rank in the army, five-star general. He was also named the supreme commander of the Allied forces by President Roosevelt. As the top commander he planned the Invasion of Normandy, also called D-Day. The invasion was a success and helped to push the Germans out of France. This was one of the deciding victories of the war. When the war in Europe ended, Eisenhower accepted the formal surrender of the German troops.
A few years after World War II ended, in 1948, Dwight retired from the army. He first worked as president of Columbia University and then as commander of the NATO forces in Europe. Many people asked him to run for president. At first he said no, but in 1952 he decided to run.
Dwight D. Eisenhower's Presidency
Eisenhower was very popular and easily won the 1952 presidential election. Eisenhower's two presidential terms were a time of economic prosperity and relative peace. Some of his accomplishments include:
How did he die?
- Eisenhower Doctrine - Eisenhower wanted to stop the spread of communism. He stated that any country could request aid or military help from the U.S. if it was being threatened by another. This was designed to stop the Soviet Union.
- Interstate Highway System - He established the highway system we use today for travel around the country. He saw this as something that was needed to help the economy, but also as important militarily in the case of an invasion by enemies.
- Civil Rights Acts - He proposed the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960. He also supported the integration of schools and created a permanent civil rights office in the Department of Justice.
- Korean War - He helped to negotiate an end to the Korean War in 1953. He also put American troops at the border between South Korea and North Korea to keep peace. There are still American troops there today.
Eisenhower died of heart disease while recovering from surgery in 1969.
Fun Facts about Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Eisenhower comes from the German word "Eisenhauer" which means "Iron Miner".
- His given name was David, but he went by his middle name Dwight and later reversed the names permanently.
- Alaska and Hawaii were admitted into the U.S. while he was president.
- Dwight and his wife Mamie never owned a home until after he was president. Having a military career they had moved 28 times and had never purchased a home.
- He considered racism to be a national security issue.
- His West Point graduation class had 59 members who reached the rank of general in their military careers.
Biographies >>US Presidents