Dwight David Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas on October 14, 1890 to David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower. He was the third of the Eisenhower's seven sons. His heritage was German, with his ancestors immigrating to Pennsylvania very early in the 18th Century.
Eisenhower's Early Life
In Denison, Texas, Dwight Eisenhower's family lived in a small house near the railroad tracks where his father cleaned train engines. His mother, a devout Mennonite, was a pacifist opposed to war and violence. When Dwight was a slightly more than a year old, the family moved to Abilene, Kansas where his father began work in Ida's brother's creamery. When David was six, his younger brother, Paul died of diphtheria at the age of three. His family was poor, so he and his brothers worked throughout their youth to earn money.
Dwight attended public schools, graduating high school in 1909; Dwight became a star athlete in the sports of baseball and football at Abilene High School. After graduation, Dwight went to work in his uncle's Bell Springs Creamery and worked as a fireman at night. Most of the money he earned went toward paying the tuition of his younger brother, Edgar, at the University of Michigan. He and Edgar had made a pact that after the younger one attended college for two years, he would then work and pay for Dwight to go to college. But, in 1911, Dwight received approval to attend West Point where his college education would be free. He also became a star football player at West Point until knee injuries forced him out of the game. He was an average student at first, but graduated near the top of his class in 1915. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the military upon finishing his college.
Dwight Eisenhower married Mamie Geneva Doud on July 1, 1916 after meeting her while stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. They had two sons, Doud Dwight Eisenhower and John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower. The older of the brothers died from scarlet fever while an infant.
Life in the Military
While World War I was engaged, Dwight was a training instructor and the commander of a military training center. After attending the Army War College, Dwight became a staff member of General Douglas MacArthur's, serving in various supervisory positions in the Philippines. During World War II, Eisenhower rose through the ranks, becoming a five-star general before being appointed as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. He was recognized as a superb leader, exceptional war strategist and highly respected commander.
Following the end of World War II, Eisenhower used his military acumen and international reputation as an effective negotiator to promulgate world peace through ending the Korean War and leading America through several years of the Cold War. His anti-communist stance helped to curb the spread of it and protected the U.S. from its infiltration.
Dwight David Eisenhower was elected to two terms as President of the United States, serving from 1953 until 1961. His popular presidency was best known for making great strides in the civil rights of all Americans, the establishment of an interstate highway system, a time of prosperity and a period of peace.
After leaving the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower lived on his farm in Pennsylvania where he raised cattle, painted and wrote his memoirs, Crusade In Europe, which is considered to be the most thorough account of World War II. In this book, Eisenhower shares his personal thoughts, stresses and strategies as he planned and executed the last international military conflict in history.
President Dwight Eisenhower died from a long battle with coronary heart disease on March 28, 1969. His wife, Mamie died ten years later. Both their remains are interred in Abilene, Kansas.