|45th United States Ambassador to Belgium|
May 14, 1969 – September 28, 1971
|Preceded by||Ridgway B. Knight|
|Succeeded by||Robert Strausz-Hupe|
|Born||John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower
August 3, 1922
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Jean Thompson (1947–1986; divorced)
Joanne Thompson (1988–)
|Relations||Dwight D. Eisenhower – father
Mamie Eisenhower – mother
Doud Eisenhower – brother
|Children||4 (all by Barbara Thompson)|
|Alma mater||U.S. Military Academy|
|Profession||Diplomat, Brigadier General, Author|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1944–1963 (active), 1963–1974 (Reserves)|
|Battles/wars||World War II
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (born August 3, 1922) is the son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie. He is a retired United States Army Brigadier General, and the author of several books of military history. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium from 1969 to 1971.
John Eisenhower was born on August 3, 1922 in Denver, Denver County, Colorado to future U.S. President and United States Army General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie. John Eisenhower was the second child of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. Their first son, Doud Dwight, known affectionately as "Icky", died in 1921, at age 3, after contracting scarlet fever. John 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.
John 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".
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.
As a military historian, Eisenhower has written several of his books, including The Bitter Woods, a study of the Battle of the Bulge. In a New York Times review of So Far from God (a history of the U.S.-Mexican War), Stephen W. Sears remarked that Eisenhower "writes briskly and authoritatively, and his judgments are worth reading."
John Eisenhower wrote the foreword to Borrowed Soldiers, a book by Mitchell Yockelson of the U.S. National Archives. Eisenhower also wrote the forward to Kenneth W. Rendell's book, "Politics, War and Personality: 50 Iconic Documents of World War II."
Awards and 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.
Eisenhower married Barbara Jean Thompson on June 10, 1947. They divorced in 1986. The Eisenhowers had four children: a son, Dwight David, II (b. March 31, 1948, West Point, NY), who married Julie Nixon, herself a presidential daughter; and three daughters Barbara Anne Eisenhower (b. May 30, 1949, West Point, NY), Susan Eisenhower (b. December 31, 1951, Fort Knox, KY) and Mary Jean Eisenhower (b. December 21, 1955, Washington, DC). In 1988, Eisenhower married Joanne Thompson. He lives in Trappe, Maryland, after moving there from Kimberton, Pennsylvania.
A lifelong Republican, Eisenhower became independent and voted for Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, citing Republican incumbent George W. Bush's management of U.S. foreign policy.
Eisenhower is currently the oldest living presidential child. He has been a staunch opponent of Frank Gehry's proposed design for the National Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, which he said is "too extravagant" and "attempts to do too much."
- The Bitter Woods. Battery Classics. 1969. ISBN 9780898391060.; Da Capo Press, 1995, ISBN 9780306806520
- Strictly Personal Doubleday, 1974, ISBN 9780385070713
- Allies, Pearl Harbor to D–Day. Doubleday. 1982. ISBN 9780385114790.; Da Capo Press, 2000, ISBN 9780306809415
- So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846–1848. Random House. 1989. ISBN 9780394560519.; University of Oklahoma Press, 2000, ISBN 9780806132792
- Intervention!: The United States Involvement in the Mexican Revolution, 1913–1917. W. W. Norton & Company. 1993. ISBN 9780393313185.
- Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott. Free Press. 1997. ISBN 9780684844510.
- Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I. Simon and Schuster. 2001. ISBN 9780743216371.
- General Ike: A Personal Reminiscence. Simon and Schuster. 2003. ISBN 9780743255721.
- Zachary Taylor. Macmillan. 2008. ISBN 9780805082371.
- A Morning in June: Defending Outpost Harry. University of Alabama Press. 2010. ISBN 9780817316693.
- Soldiers and Statesmen: Reflections on Leadership. University of Missouri Press. 2012. ISBN 9780826219701.
- "John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower". Internet Accuracy Project.
- Eisenhower, John (September 27, 2008). "Presidential Children Don’t Belong in Battle". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
- "History of the Information Security Oversight Office". www.archives.gov. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Woolley, John T.; Gerhard Peters. "Remarks Upon Establishing the President's Advisory Committee on Refugees". The American Presidency Project. Santa Barbara, California: University of California. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Stephen W. Sears (April 2, 1989). "LAND GRAB ON THE RIO GRANDE". New York Times.
- "Hubble Medal of Initiative." Marshfield Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- "John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower". Internet Accuracy Project. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- Eisenhower, John (September 28, 2004). "Why I Will Vote for John Kerry for President". The Manchester Union Leader. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
- "Former President John Tyler's (1790–1862) grandchildren still alive". January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
- Zongker, Brett (November 16, 2013). "Eisenhower Memorial Approval Delayed Into 2013". Associated Press.
- John Eisenhower – Internet Accuracy Project
- Booknotes interview with Eisenhower on Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott, April 19, 1998.