Dwight David Eisenhower

President Eisenhower and LTG Garrison Davidson (USMA 1927). who was USMA Superintendent 1956-1960, meeting at West Point.

President Eisenhower and LTG Garrison Davidson (USMA 1927, USMA Superintendent 1956-1960), meeting at West Point in 1960. (image courtesy of USMA Library Special Collections and Archives)

Dwight David Eisenhower was born October 14, 1890. He was nominated for an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy by Senator J.L. Bristow of Kansas, and was admitted on June 14, 1911.

While he was a cadet, Eisenhower became active in sports participating in football, baseball and track. His football career ended when he succumbed to a knee injury during the November 16, 1912 Tuft’s game.   At graduation he was ranked 61st of 164 members in the Class of 1915.

Eisenhower served during World War I in the Tank Corps and was commander of Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (the Tank Corps Camp) from March 1 to November 17, 1918.   In 1935 he went to the Philippines as Assistant to Military Advisor General Douglas MacArthur.

Eisenhower’s World War II service included service as head of the European Theater of Operations and as commander of the forces invading North Africa in November 1942. In December 1943 General Eisenhower, having been appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, moved to England to assemble and coordinate a gigantic invasion force for the cross-channel assault on June 6, 1944 (D-Day).

At war’s end, Eisenhower was ordered to Washington to become Army Chief of Staff; he served in this position until his retirement in February 1948. At that time he accepted the presidency of Columbia University and began a new career. In 1950 he was recalled to active duty to become the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe under the newly established North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In 1952 General Eisenhower entered politics. He resigned his commission to campaign for the presidency, and in November was elected the thirty-fourth President of the United States. He served two terms.

In 1961 General Eisenhower was reappointed a General of the Army, and in the same year received the Thayer Award from USMA’s Association of Graduates. Eisenhower died March 28, 1969 at the age of 78, and was buried in Abilene, Kansas.

Contents contributed by Alicia Mauldin-Ware, Archives Curator