Eisenhower Facts


Patricia Truslow, Contributor

| updated

Copy Link Code

eisenhower factsBecause President Dwight Eisenhower had such a rich history, there are many interesting facts about him. Categorized below are personal, presidential and fun facts about the man, the general and the president.

Personal facts about Dwight Eisenhower

  • Dwight Eisenhower was born the third of seven sons to a poor family raised as devout Mennonites.
  • Both Eisenhower's parents were college educated, but neither ever worked in their fields of degree.
  • Eisenhower worked from an early age, first doing chores on the family farm and later as a fireman while working in his uncle's dairy business.
  • Eisenhower was denied admittance to the Naval Academy because he was past the maximum age of admission.
  • Eisenhower provided part of his brother's college tuition as part of a deal; he would do it for his brother, then the brother would do it for Eisenhower.
  • Eisenhower was a star athlete in baseball and football; he was known as the Kansas Cyclone at West Point due to his speed as a ball carrier.
  • Dwight Eisenhower married Mamie Doud after only knowing her for nine months.
  • Eisenhower had two sons, but only one survived infancy.

Career facts about President Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • In 1915, Eisenhower graduated from West Point with the ranking of Second Lieutenant.
  • On March 24, 1918, Eisenhower was promoted to the rank of Captain and named Commander of the Tank Corps, National Army.
  • In 1920, Dwight Eisenhower was promoted to Major and assumed duties at Camp Meade until 1922.
  • Dwight became executive officer to General Fox Conner in the Panama Canal Zone for two years.
  • Eisenhower attended the Command and General Staff College in 1925-26, then served as Batallion Commander at Fort Benning until 1927.
  • Between 1927 and 1935, Eisenhower attended the Army War College and served as an executive officer and military aide to General Douglas MacArthur.
  • He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Eisenhower in 1936 in the Philippines and returned to the U.S. in 1939
  • Eisenhower was promoted to Brigadier General in 1941, although he had never seen active combat duty.
  • As a member of the General Staff in Washington, D.C., Eisenhower was given the duty of creating the war plans to defeat Japan and Germany as World War II escalated.
  • As Commanding General of the European Theater of Operations in 1942, Eisenhower earned his Four-star General ranking and his Five-star General Ranking in December 1944.
  • Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.
  • In 1948, after the war had ended, Eisenhower became president of Columbia University.
  • In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower entered the presidential race as the Republican candidate against Adlai Stevenson; he won the election with 58% of the popular vote.
  • In 1956, Eisenhower ran for re-election against Stevenson again, winning forty-one of the states.
  • Eisenhower retired in 1961 to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to raise cattle and spend time with his wife and other family.

Fun facts about Dwight Eisenhower

  • As a young boy, Dwight Eisenhower sold vegetables to the people of Abilene, Kansas to earn money.
  • Even though he was from a devoted Mennonite family, Dwight never joined a congregation until he joined the Presbyterian Church in 1953, only eight years before his death. Yet, Eisenhower once remarked: "I am one of the most deeply religious men I've ever known."
  • While a young athlete in Abilene High School, Eisenhower contracted an infection in his leg, which the doctors wanted to amputate. He refused and healed, but had to repeat his freshman year. He went on to become a star ball carrier in high school and at West Point.
  • At West Point, while tackling a player during a football game, Eisenhower broke his leg, ending his athletic career. The player he was tackling was future football Hall of Fame inductee and Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Thorpe.
  • Eisenhower's grandson, David, married Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Eisenhower's Vice-president, Richard Nixon.
  • In World War II, 5-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the most powerful military man on the planet; ironically his parents were pacifistic Jehovah's Witnesses who didn't believe in war.
  • Eisenhower was one of only five men to attain the rank of 5-star general during his time, and the only general elected to the presidency. When he was elected, he resigned his commission as general, but had it reinstated upon leaving the presidency.
  • An avid golfer, Dwight Eisenhower played more than a hundred rounds per year and belonged to several clubs. He had a putting green installed at the White House.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the only president in the 20th century to never hold a prior political office, second only to Zachary Taylor in U.S. history.