34th United States President, United States General of the Army. One of seven sons of a poor Kansas family, he discovered he could receive an education for free if he was accepted at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He passed the 1911 entry exam and graduated in the top half of his class. As the conflicts in Europe became World War II, he found himself on a rapid ascent. He rose to lead the armed forces fighting to liberate Europe, commanding the Allied Forces in invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy, then directing the campaign from D-Day to the surrender of Germany. After the war's conclusion, he was appointed as the first Supreme Commander of NATO. Upon his return to the United States as a 5-star general, he served as the Army Chief of Staff with the main task being demobilization. Upon retirement, he accepted the presidency of Columbia University. Politics called and he became the Nation's 34th President, guiding America to peace by ending the Korean War. Americans enjoyed a strong, expanding economy under Eisenhower with solid economic growth, little inflation and low unemployment. He expanded social security and increased the minimum wage. The Interstate Highway System and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were created and space exploration began. In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states of the Union. He was beset with heart problems beginning during his term in the White House and his health continued to decline during his retirement to a farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At age 78, eight years after leaving the White house, he was admitted to Walter Reed Hospital where a heart attack took his life. He was buried in the chapel on the grounds of the complex housing the Eisenhower boyhood home, library and museum.
Mamie Doud Eisenhower
1896–1979 (m. 1916)