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Dwight D. Eisenhower

U.S. President / Military Leader / World War II Figure

Born: 14 October 1890
Died: 28 March 1969 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Denison, Texas
Best known as: Supreme commander of Allied forces in WWII

Name at birth: David Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the most famous U.S. Army general of World War II and the 34th president of the United States. A career Army man, "Ike" rose to the level of five-star general and oversaw the Allied forces in Europe, including the famous D-Day invasion of France in 1944. After the war he served briefly as president of Columbia University, then was chosen over Robert A. Taft as the Republican candidate for U.S. president in 1952. He won handily in 1952 and again in 1956, defeating Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson both times. His administration is remembered as peaceful and prosperous, despite the rise of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and China. His wife, Mamie, was known as a good hostess who was happy to stay out of politics. Eisenhower was succeeded by John F. Kennedy, who defeated Eisenhower's vice president, Richard Nixon, in the elections of 1960. Eisenhower survived a half-dozen heart attacks over 15 years before succumbing to a final attack in 1969.

Extra credit: Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower, sharing a first name with his father David Eisenhower. According to the Eisenhower Library website, "Since the baby David was always called Dwight, when he entered high school he changed his name to Dwight David Eisenhower"... Eisenhower was a four-pack-a-day smoker until he quit cold turkey in 1949... His grandson David married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie in 1968... Like his contemporary Winston Churchill, Ike was an amateur oil painter... When Eisenhower ran for president in 1952 he resigned from the army, forfeiting an annual pension of nearly $20,000... Eisenhower was baptized and became a member of the National Presbyterian Church shortly after he was inaugurated in 1953.

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