89. Dwight D. Eisenhower: From General to President


Dwight David Eisenhower was a two-term president who was in office from 1953 to 1961. He was the only president who served as a five-star general in the U.S. Army. Eisenhower was the U.S. military Supreme Commander in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. During his presidency, Eisenhower negotiated a truce in Korea, and worked hard to maintain the peace during the infamous Cold War with Russia.

Born in Denison, Texas on October 14, 1890, Eisenhower excelled in high school sports, and he received appointment to the U.S. military academy at West Point. He began his military career in North Africa, and by D-Day in 1944, Eisenhower had risen to Supreme Commander in Europe. He reached the rank of five-star general, which is the highest rank in the U.S. Army.

Eisenhower served as president of the prestigious, Ivy League school, Columbia University after the war, and decided to run for president in 1952. He won a sweeping victory, and took office in 1953. His greatest accomplishment during his presidency was his handling of the Cold War. Relations with Russia were strained before he took office, but he quickly gained the Russian's confidence, and diplomatic solutions replaced military posturing.

He was a moderate Republican who favored a balanced budget and social programs. He continued former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs to help boost the economy, and championed education rights for all Americans. Eisenhower intended to only serve one term in office, but the Republican party was in danger of losing control of both the House and the Senate. He was convinced to run in 1956, and beat Adlai Stevenson in a landslide victory. One of his greatest domestic moves was the development of an interstate highway system, which created jobs, and stimulated the economy.

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