|45th United States Ambassador to Belgium|
May 14, 1969 – September 28, 1971
|Preceded by||Ridgway Knight|
|Succeeded by||Robert Strausz-Hupe|
|Born||John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower
August 3, 1922
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||December 21, 2013 (aged 91)
Trappe, Maryland, U.S.
|Profession||Army officer, military historian, diplomat|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1944–1963 (active)
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (August 3, 1922 – December 21, 2013) was a United States Army officer and military historian. As the son of General, later President, Dwight D. Eisenhower his opportunities for front-line service were often restricted, at some cost to his career, though he ended 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
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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".
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.
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.
|Ancestors of John Eisenhower|
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.
- 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.
Awards and decorations
|U.S. military decorations|
|Bronze Star Medal|
|U.S. service medals|
|American Defense Service Medal|
|American Campaign Medal|
|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|
|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 Infantryman Badge|
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.
- "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.
- "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.
- Zongker, Brett (November 16, 2013). "Eisenhower Memorial Approval Delayed Into 2013". Associated Press.
- Goldstein, Richard (2013-12-22). "John Eisenhower, Military Historian and Son of the President, Dies at 91". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times Company.
- "Former President John Tyler's (1790–1862) grandchildren still alive". January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-25. If Elizabeth Ann Blaesing was actually Warren Harding's daughter, she would have been the oldest surviving presidential child from 1995 to her death in 2005, at which point John Eisenhower would have become the oldest.
- 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.
- Eisenhower, John S. D. (1974). Strictly Personal (1st ed.). Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-07071-3.
- McCaffree, Mary Jane; Innis, Pauline (1997). Protocol: The Complete Handbook of Diplomatic, Official and Social Usage (4th ed.). Washington: Devon. ISBN 0-941402-04-5.