GEN George Catlett Marshall, Jr

GEN George Catlett Marshall, Jr

Birth
Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 16 Oct 1959 (aged 78)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 7, Grave 8198
Memorial ID 673 · View Source
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United States Army General, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient. He received world-wide recognition for initiating the “Marshall Plan,” which was aimed at the economic recovery of the war-torn Western Europe after World War II. For this, he was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Besides this honor, he had a long military career and outstanding political achievements. Born the youngest of three children to George C. Marshall, Sr. and his wife, Laura Bradford, the family relocated to Pennsylvania for the coal mining industry. Beginning his military training 1897, he entered the Virginia Military Institute. He did not excel well academically but became the top military student, and majoring in Civil Engineering, he graduated 15th in a class of 32 students. In 1902 after the Spanish-American War, he began his military career with the American occupation of the Philippines. On February 11th, ten days before being deployed to the Philippines, he married Elizabeth “Lily” Coles, who had life-long heart problems, hence halting her travels at times or bearing children. In 1906 he enrolled at an officer's training school at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, which was extremely strict with only half the first-year students returning for the second year. After applying himself to his studies, he ranked first in his class and was an instructor upon graduation. In 1913, he was sent back to the Philippines to lead military training on the beaches. In 1916 he was assigned to the 1st Division as Head of Operations. As the United States entered World War I, he sailed across the Atlantic on the first ship of soldiers and was the second to step off the ship in France later in June. During World War I, he trained American troops in Europe serving on the staff of General John J. Pershing. In the years between the World Wars, he served in China, meeting international political figures and learning the ways of leadership including speaking Chinese. His wife did live in China for three years with him, but upon his return to the United States in 1927 to be an instructor at the Army War College in Washington D.C., his wife died following thyroid surgery. Climbing the ranks in his military career, he served on bases including ones in South Carolina and Washington before being stationed in Georgia. As a widower, he was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia to instruct at the Army's largest training school. While there, he met Katherine Boyce Tupper Brown, a former actress and recent widow who had three teenage children. The couple were married in 1930. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him United States Army Chief of Staff in 1939 as a Five-Star General. The very day he accepted this post, Nazi forces invaded Poland. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the United States entered World War II, he was given the task of planning the United States conduct of war. He organized the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944, and after President Harry Truman gave his approval, he gave the orders to drop atomic bombs on Japan. Within a week of his military retirement, he returned to China from 1945 to 1947 as special ambassador in a failed attempt to stop the Chinese Civil War, which ended with China becoming Communist in 1949. In 1947, President Truman appointed him Secretary of State, and it was at this point, that he led with a planned economic recovery for Europe and to stop the spread of Communism. He delivered his famous European Recovery Act address at Harvard University's commencement on June 5, 1947. He was the President of the American Red Cross from 1949 to 1950. After fifty years of public service, he became Secretary of Defense in 1951 during the Korean War. He oversaw the formation of an internal force under the United Nations, that turned back the North Korean invasion of South Korea. He was the highest ranking general of the army who remained on the active-duty list to be available for consultation to the United States government. After his death, the George C. Marshall Foundation was formed in 1964 to keep his legacy alive with the George C. Marshall Museum, which was his last home in Lexington, Virginia. The museum contains a library with his papers, such as maps, speeches, and historical documents on various medias.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 673
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for GEN George Catlett Marshall, Jr (31 Dec 1880–16 Oct 1959), Find a Grave Memorial no. 673, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .