Dwight David Eisenhower (commonly referred to by his initials, Ike) served two terms as President from 1953 to 1961. As war hero and general, who commanded Allied forces after World War II in Europe. Eisenhower won election with an overwhelming majority, ending decades of Democratic control in Washington D.C. Scholars often rank Eisenhower among America’s greatest presidents.
Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas on October 14, 1890 into a large and deeply religious family. Although opposed to militarism, his parents supported his education and in June 1911 he enrolled at West Point. Earning his commission as second lieutenant he spent the 1920s and 1930s serving in Panama Canal Zone and Philippines units before attending Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas between 1925-26 where he graduated first in his class before serving the European Theater of Operations until 1943 with subsequent promotions to brigadier general status.
As soon as the United States entered the Korean War in 1950, Eisenhower was placed in command of all United States forces in Far East. When he returned to Washington in 1952, Eisenhower had become an icon. Campaigning on promises to combat Communism, Korea and corruption won him the Republican nomination by an overwhelming margin; later that year he beat Adlai Stevenson and won another term.
Eisenhower oversaw economic stability for much of his presidential term with only brief recession in 1958-59 to interrupt it. Eisenhower oversaw major infrastructure development such as Interstate Highway system construction (1956) and People to People International in 1957. Additionally, he supported Civil Rights Act of 1957 by sending troops to Little Rock, Arkansas following desegregation at Central High School.
Once out of office, Eisenhower returned to his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania farm. A lifetime sports enthusiast who excelled at golf and hunting, as well as oil painting. Eisenhower passed away March 28, 1969 at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery near where numerous middle and high schools bear his name as well as a memorial on the National Mall near Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.