He was the first Texas born, the 34th President of the United
States of America. His birth place was in Dennison, Texas, but he spent his
early years in Alibene, Kansas. He had six brothers and was the third amongst
them. His schooling was completed at Alibene High School in 1909. In the year
1911, on Kansas Senator Joseph L. Bristow’s strong recommendation, he was
enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1912 he was felicitated
by the sports reporter of New York Herald for his pronounced sportsmanship.
After his graduation from West Point, he was associated with the Infantry and
specialized in Tank warfare. He served under eminent Generals, John J. Pershing,
Douglas McArthur, and Walter Krueger. Under their tutelage his military
thinking, acumen and diplomatic abilities sharpened.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was assigned the responsibility of drawing
major war plans against Japan and Germany. In mid June 1942 he was appointed
Assistant Chief of Staff under General George C. Marshall. Shortly afterwards he
was the Commanding Officer and was given full charge of the European Theatre and
North Africa. He rose to become the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied
Expeditionary Force and was responsible for Allied assaults on Norway, Normandy
and Germany and liberation of Western Europe. His wartime negotiation with World
War II legendary figures including Soviet Marshall Zhukov and Stalin was lauded
by President Roosevelt. Between 1945-48, he served as Chief of Staff of the U.S.
Army and in December 1950 he became Supreme Commander of North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO). His book, “Crusade of Europe”, is still prized
as one of the best military memoirs.
He served as the President of Columbia University between 1948–53. In the
year 1952, he retired from active service and entered politics after being
persuaded by the Republican Party to contest the Presidential election. General
Eisenhower’s main political plank was to retain a strong NATO, U.S.
Military presence abroad and a corrupt-free frugal administration at home. His
landslide victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson in the 1953 U.S. Presidential
election marked the return of the Republican Party to the White House after 20
years. He was the only General to serve as the U.S. President in the 20th
Century. As the U.S. President, he oversaw the cease fire of the Korean War,
kept up the pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear
weapons a high defense priority, launched the space race, strengthened the
military industrial complex, enlarged the Social Security program and began the
Interstate Highway System. One of his most striking achievement as the President
was signing the Interstate Highway System Bill in 1956. His objective in
creating improved highways was based on his impressive experience with German
Autobahn during World War II. His Social Security program is still in operation
and he clubbed them under Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
In 1957 during his 2nd tenure as the U.S. President, he proclaimed the
Eisenhower Doctrine and became the protector of all Western interests in the
Middle East. He sent a temporary non-combat Peace Mission to Lebanon to
stabilize the pro-West government. He was in total favor of dynamic conservatism
and pursued the policy of “Moderate Republicanism”. He strongly
supported and initiated school integration. He proposed Civil Rights Acts and
passed them as laws and these constituted first Civil Rights Acts since 1870.
Also during this period, Alaska and Hawaii were converted to American
In 1961 during his last speech as President, he raised the issue of Cold War and
the role of U.S. Armed Forces in defense and liberty purposes in the homeland
and abroad. His reputation as a non-partisan individual, his war time leadership
qualities and his strategic handling of complicated situations in the U.S. and
abroad has merited him the 10th rank amongst the U.S. Presidents.