Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (/ˈaɪzənˌhaʊ.ər/ EYE-zən-HOW-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first Supreme Commander of NATO.
Eisenhower was of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry and was raised in a large family in Kansas by parents with a strong religious background. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and later married Mamie Doud, with whom he had two sons. After World War II, Eisenhower served as Army Chief of Staff under President Harry S. Truman and then accepted the post of President at Columbia University.
Eisenhower entered the 1952 presidential race as a Republican to counter the non-interventionism of Senator Robert A. Taft, campaigning against "communism, Korea and corruption." He won in a landslide, defeating Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson and temporarily upending the New Deal Coalition. Eisenhower was the first U.S. president to be constitutionally term-limited under the 22nd Amendment and the only president born before the 20th century to be so.
Eisenhower's main goals in office were to keep pressure on the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits. In the first year of his presidency, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons in an effort to conclude the Korean War; his New Look policy of nuclear deterrence prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing funding for conventional military forces. He ordered coups in Iran and Guatemala. Eisenhower gave major aid to help the French in the First Indochina War, and after the French were defeated he gave strong financial support to the new state of South Vietnam. Congress agreed to his request in 1955 for the Formosa Resolution, which obliged the U.S. to militarily support capitalist Taiwan and continue the isolation of the People's Republic of China.
After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the space race. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Eisenhower condemned the Israeli, British and French invasion of Egypt, and forced them to withdraw. He also condemned the Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but took no action. Eisenhower sent 15,000 U.S. troops to Lebanon to prevent the pro-Western government from falling to a Nasser-inspired revolution during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed because of the U-2 incident. In his January 17, 1961 farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers, and coined the term "military–industrial complex".
On the domestic front, he covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking executive privilege. He otherwise left most political activity to his Vice President, Richard Nixon. Eisenhower was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He also launched the Interstate Highway System, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act, and encouraged peaceful use of nuclear power via amendments to the Atomic Energy Act.
Eisenhower's two terms saw considerable economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. Voted Gallup's most admired man twelve times, he achieved widespread popular esteem both in and out of office. Since the late 20th century, consensus among Western scholars has consistently held Eisenhower as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents....LESS