David Eisenhower

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David Eisenhower
Eisenhower in 2021
Dwight David Eisenhower II

(1948-03-31) March 31, 1948 (age 76)
Alma materAmherst College (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
Occupation(s)Author, professor
(m. 1968)
Children3, including Jennie
RelativesDwight Eisenhower (grandfather)
Richard Nixon (father-in-law)
Mamie Eisenhower (grandmother)
Pat Nixon (mother-in-law)

Dwight David Eisenhower II (born March 31, 1948) is an American author, public policy fellow, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, and eponym of the U.S. presidential retreat Camp David. He is the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, and a son-in-law of President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon.

Early life[edit]

Eisenhower, then age 12, poses with a sign in 1960 at the presidential retreat named after him

Dwight David Eisenhower II, better known as David, was named after his grandfather, Ike. David was born on March 31, 1948, in West Point, New York, to Barbara (Thompson) and John Eisenhower, the only son and eldest of four children. His father was a U.S. Army officer, and his grandfather was Dwight D. Eisenhower, future president of the United States, and former Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War II.

His father would go on to be a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve, United States Ambassador to Belgium (1969–1971), and a renowned military historian. His grandfather would become president of Columbia University (1948–1953), and later the 34th president of the United States (1953–1961). After assuming the presidency in 1953, President Eisenhower renamed the presidential mountain retreat, formerly Camp Shangri-La, Camp David, after his grandson.[1]


Eisenhower graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1966. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history cum laude from Amherst College in 1970. After college, he served for three years as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve.[2] During this time, he was assigned to the USS Albany in the Mediterranean Sea.[3] He then earned his J.D. degree cum laude from The George Washington University Law School in 1976.[4]

He was at least loosely identified with the Nixon administration, when he accepted a request to attend the funeral of Dan Mitrione in 1970, the operative whose activities in training Uruguayan police in torture techniques, when later publicized, caused profound controversy,[5] although there has been no suggestion that Eisenhower had any knowledge of Mitrione's controversial activities.

He is today a teaching adjunct and public policy fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania,[6][7] author,[4] and co-chair of the Foreign Policy Research Institute's History Institute for Teachers. From 2001 to 2003, he was editor of Orbis, a quarterly published by the institute.[4]

Eisenhower was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1987 for his work Eisenhower At War, 1943-1945 about the Allied leadership during World War II.[4][8]

He is the host of a public television series called The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower, distributed by American Public Television.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Julie and David Eisenhower (age 23) in 1971

On December 22, 1968, Eisenhower married Julie Nixon, a daughter of then President-elect Nixon, who had served as Dwight Eisenhower's vice president. The couple had known each other since meeting at the 1956 Republican National Convention and David Eisenhower had escorted Julie Nixon as her civilian escort at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. [10] The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale officiated in the non-denominational rite at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.[11][12]

Eisenhower and Julie live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.[13] They have three children: actress Jennie Elizabeth Eisenhower (born August 15, 1978);[14] Alexander Richard Eisenhower (b. 1980); and Melanie Catherine Eisenhower (b. 1984).[15] They also have three grandchildren.

In popular culture[edit]

Due to his connection with Julie and President Nixon, Eisenhower was one inspiration for the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Fortunate Son", released in 1969.[16] The song's author and singer, John Fogerty, wrote:

'Fortunate Son' wasn't really inspired by any one event. Julie Nixon was dating David Eisenhower. You'd hear about the son of this senator or that congressman who was given a deferment from the military or a choice position in the military. They seemed privileged and whether they liked it or not, these people were symbolic in the sense that they weren't being touched by what their parents were doing. They weren't being affected like the rest of us.[17]

In the satirical 1976 film Tunnel Vision, Eisenhower is identified as President of the United States in the then-future year of 1985, succeeding an African-American woman named Washington, who in turn took over from George Wallace.


  1. ^ "Camp David" Archived 2018-09-17 at the Wayback Machine at Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home" site. Says "Ike re-named it 'Camp David' in honor of his grandson David Eisenhower." Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  2. ^ Time, February 9, 1970.
  3. ^ snopes (18 December 2015). "Is Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son' About Al Gore? : snopes.com". snopes.
  4. ^ a b c d "David Eisenhower, Grandson of 34th President, to Address Misericordia Commencement Ceremony" (Press release). Misericordia University. April 9, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Dan Mitrione, un maestro de la tortura". 2 September 2001. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Lindback and Provost's Awards: 2003 Winners — Provost's Award: David Eisenhower". Almanac. University of Pennsylvania. April 22, 2003. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
  7. ^ "David Eisenhower is named recipient of the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching". The Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania. April 18, 2003. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
  8. ^ "History (Winners & Finalists)". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  9. ^ "The Whole Truth With David Eisenhower - Television Series". Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  10. ^ Yazigi, Monique (January 1997). "The Debutante Returns, With Pearls and Plans". The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Kunen, James S. (December 16, 1985). "Iowa-Born Actor Fred Grandy, Alias Love Boat's Gopher Smith, Plots a Course for Washington". People. Vol. 24, no. 25. New York: Time Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Portrait of Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower with Maid of Honor and Best Man". Getty Images. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Bennett, Kitty (December 22, 2010). "Where Are They Now? Julie and David Eisenhower". AARP Bulletin. p. 1. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  14. ^ David Eisenhower at IMDb
  15. ^ "'Going Home to Glory': Portrait of a general, president, and grandfather". philly-archives.
  16. ^ "Is Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son' About Al Gore?". Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com. 15 August 2006. Retrieved August 25, 2006.
  17. ^ Fogerty, John (2015). Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music. With Jimmy McDonough. Little, Brown. p. 190. ISBN 978-0316244565.

Further reading[edit]

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