photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Dwight D. Eisenhower
United States Army general, statesman and 34th president of the United States (1890−1969)wd:Q9916
country of citizenship: United States of America
native language: English
languages spoken, written or signed: English
educated at: United States Military Academy, United States Army Command and General Staff College, United States Army War College, Abilene High School
occupation: politician, military officer, statesperson
award received: Atoms for Peace Award, Companion of the Liberation, Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Grand Cross of the Order of Wissam El Alaouite, Legionnaire of Legion of Merit, Order of Victory, Africa Star, Distinguished Service Medal, Mexican Border Service Medal, World War I Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Order of Aeronautical Merit, Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross, Grand cross of the Order of the White Lion, Order of the Elephant, Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Order of the Royal House of Chakri, Grand Cordon of the order of Nichan Iftikhar, Order of Suvorov, 1st class, Croix de guerre (Belgium), Theodore Roosevelt Award, Horatio Alger Award, World Golf Hall of Fame, Hoover Medal, Order of the Cross of Grunwald, 1st class, Czechoslovak War Cross 1939–1945, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savoy, Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero, Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold, honorary doctor of the Hofstra University, velkokříž Řádu osvoboditele generála San Martína, Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Nishan-e-Pakistan, Order of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Order of Sikatuna, Order of Propitious Clouds, Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari, Victory Medal, Order of the Redeemer
position held: President of the United States, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, President-elect of the United States
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American military officer and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, and achieved the rare five-star rank of General of the Army. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–1943 and the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944–1945 from the Western Front.
Eisenhower, born David Dwight Eisenhower, was raised in Abilene, Kansas, in a large family of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. His family had a strong religious background. His mother became a Jehovah's Witness. Eisenhower, however, did not belong to any organized church until 1952. 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), as president of Columbia University (1948–1953) and as the first Supreme Commander of NATO (1951–1952).
In 1952, Eisenhower entered the presidential race as a Republican to block the isolationist foreign policies of Senator Robert A. Taft; Taft opposed NATO and wanted no foreign entanglements. Eisenhower won that election and the 1956 election in landslides, both times defeating Adlai Stevenson II. Eisenhower's main goals in office were to contain the spread of communism and reduce federal deficits. In 1953, he considered using nuclear weapons to end the Korean War, and may have threatened China with nuclear attack if an armistice was not reached quickly. 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 Taiwan 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 regime-changing military coups in Iran and Guatemala orchestrated by his own administration. 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. 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.
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 unprecedented 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, which he dubbed "the military–industrial complex". Historical evaluations of his presidency place him among the upper tier of American presidents.
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