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John Eisenhower

John Eisenhower

United States Army general, military historian, diplomat
The basics
Occupations Diplomat Military historian Author Writer Biographer
Countries United States of America
Gender male
Birth August 3, 1922 (Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.)
Death December 21, 2013 (Trappe, Talbot County, Maryland, U.S.A.)
Mother: Mamie Eisenhower
Father: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Children: David EisenhowerMary Jean EisenhowerSusan Eisenhower
Education United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia University, United States Army Command and General Staff College
Authority IMDB id ISNI id Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (August 3, 1922 – December 21, 2013) was a United States Army officer and military historian. As a son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he ended his military career as a decorated brigadier-general. In the administration of President Richard Nixon (his father’s vice-president), he served as United States Ambassador to Belgium.

Early life and education

Eisenhower was born on August 3, 1922 in Denver, Colorado to future U.S. President and United States Army General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie; he was their second child. Their elder son, Doud, known affectionately as "Icky", died in 1921, at age three, after contracting scarlet fever. Eisenhower, like his father, attended the United States Military Academy, graduating on June 6, 1944, the day of the Normandy landings, which his father was commanding.


Eisenhower served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War, remaining on active duty until 1963; then serving in the U.S. Army Reserve until retirement in 1975 – attaining the rank of brigadier general. A decorated soldier, Eisenhower found his World War II military career thwarted by fears for his safety and concern from the top brass that his death or capture would be a distraction to his father, the Supreme Allied Commander. This issue arose again in 1952 when Major Eisenhower was assigned to fight in a combat unit in Korea while his father ran for President. After a short stint in combat with an infantry battalion, he was reassigned to the safety of division headquarters. In 2008, he wrote about this experience in an opinion piece in The New York Times entitled "Presidential Children Don't Belong in Battle".

During his father's presidency, John Eisenhower served as Assistant Staff Secretary in the White House, on the Army's General Staff, and in the White House as assistant to General Andrew Goodpaster.

In the administration of President Richard Nixon, who had been his father's Vice President, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. In 1972, President Nixon appointed Eisenhower Chairman of the Interagency Classification Review Committee. In 1975, he served President Gerald Ford as chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Refugees.

Marriage and children

Eisenhower married Barbara Jean Thompson on June 10, 1947, only a few days before her twenty-first birthday. Barbara was born on June 15, 1926, in Fort Knox, Kentucky, into an Army family. She was the daughter of Col. Percy Walter Thompson (November 8, 1898 – June 19, 1974) by his wife Beatrice (née Birchfield). Col. Thompson was commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. The Eisenhowers had four children:

  • Dwight David Eisenhower II (born March 31, 1948, West Point, New York), who married Julie Nixon, herself a presidential daughter;
  • (Barbara) Anne Eisenhower (born May 30, 1949, West Point, New York);
  • Susan Elaine Eisenhower (born December 31, 1951, Fort Knox, Kentucky);
  • Mary Jean Eisenhower (born December 21, 1955, Washington, DC).

The couple divorced in 1986 after thirty-nine years of marriage. In 1988, Barbara married widower Edwin J. Foltz, a former Vice President at the Campbell Soup Company. She died on September 19, 2014, in Gladwyne, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

In 1988, Eisenhower married Joanne Thompson. He lived in Trappe, Maryland, after moving there from Kimberton, Pennsylvania.

Later life and death

A lifelong Republican, Eisenhower voted for Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, citing dissatisfaction with Republican incumbent George W. Bush's management of U.S. foreign policy. In later years, he had been an opponent of Frank Gehry's proposed design for the National Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, which he said was "too extravagant" and "attempts to do too much."

He died at Trappe, Maryland on December 21, 2013. From the death of John Coolidge in 2000 until his own death, Eisenhower was the oldest living presidential child. His burial was at West Point Cemetery on the grounds of the United States Military Academy.


As a military historian, Eisenhower wrote several books, including The Bitter Woods, a study of the Battle of the Bulge, and So Far from God, a history of the U.S.-Mexican War. In a New York Times review of the latter, historian Stephen W. Sears remarked that Eisenhower "writes briskly and authoritatively, and his judgments are worth reading." John Eisenhower also wrote the forewords to Borrowed Soldiers, by Mitchell Yockelson of the U.S. National Archives, and to Kenneth W. Rendell's Politics, War and Personality: 50 Iconic Documents of World War II.

Military awards

U.S. military decorations
Bronze Star Medal
U.S. service medals
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ 2 bronze service stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal w/ "Germany" Clasp
National Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Korean Service Medal w/ 3 bronze service stars
Foreign unit awards
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Non-U.S. service awards
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
U.S. Army badges
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
USAAF - Glider Pilot 4.png Glider Badge

Other honors

The city of Marshfield, Missouri chose Eisenhower as a 2008 honoree of the Edwin P. Hubble Medal of Initiative. His grandson, Merrill Eisenhower Atwater spoke on his behalf at Marshfield's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The medal recognizes individuals who demonstrate great initiative in their chosen field.

Family tree

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mamie Doud
Richard Nixon
Pat Ryan
Doud Eisenhower
John Eisenhower
Barbara Thompson
Edward Cox
Tricia Nixon
Julie Nixon
David Eisenhower
Anne Eisenhower
Susan Eisenhower
Mary Eisenhower
Christopher Cox
Andrea Catsimatidis
Anthony Cheslock
Jennie Eisenhower
Alex Eisenhower
Tara Brennan
Melanie Eisenhower
Chloe Cheslock
Kaia Eisenhower
Kaeden Eisenhower
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Early life and education Career Marriage and children Later life and death Writing Military awards Other honors Family tree
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