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Dwight Eisenhower: Quotations

Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. [Ike Eisenhower] [◦More]

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows. [Ike Eisenhower] [◦More]

"The only way to win World War III is to prevent it." [Radio and TV Address September 19, 1956]

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." [His Farewell Address, Radio and TV January 17, 1961]

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. [Ike]

There is no better way to gain a true understanding of America's traditions and objectives than through a direct study of the writings of our national leaders and the records of our free institutions. [◦More]

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends. [In a speech, June 1945] [◦More]

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

If all that Americans want is security they can go to prison. They'll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government. [◦More]


Some months after the end of his term as president, Eisenhower was asked if leaving the White House had affected his golf game.

"Yes," he replied, "a lot more people beat me now." [Fa]

Five days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the United States declared war on the Axis Powers. Dwight Eisenhower was informed that General George C. Marshall wanted him in Washington at once. Marshall knew Eisenhower by reputation as a man who would assume responsibility, but he put that reputation to a test right there.

When Eisenhower reported for duty, Marshall posed a problem he already knew the answer to. He asked for a recommendation on how the entire Pacific strategy should be handled. Eisenhower returned to the Chief of Staff's office a few hours later and briefed a strategic concept which Marshall agreed with.

The Chief of Staff ended the interview thus:

"Eisenhower," he said, "the Department is filled with able men who analyse their problems well but feel compelled always to bring them to me for final solution. I must have assistants who will solve their own problems and tell me later what they have done."


Very Brief Eisenhower Biography

Mr President

Dwight David Eisenhower (Oct. 14, 1890, Denison, Texas - March 28, 1969, Washington, D.C).

During World War 1, Eisenhower commanded a tank training centre and was promoted to captain.

In World War 2 he prepared the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe, and headed the Allied invasion of French North Africa. Eisenhower then directed the amphibious assault of Sicily and the Italian mainland, which resulted in the fall of Rome. Then, as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces (1943-45), he gave the order to launch the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, ie, June 6, 1944.

In December 1944, Eisenhower had been made a five-star general, and he was given a hero's welcome on returning to the United States for a visit in June 1945.

In May 1948 he left active duty as the most popular and respected soldier in the United States and became president of Columbia University in New York City. He was poorly prepared for the post; thus his brief career as an academic administrator was not particularly successful.

After a short time President Harry S. Truman named him military commander of NATO. And then he was persuaded by several political leaders to seek the Republican presidential nomination and decided to run for Presidency in 1952. He became the 34th President of the United States. As such, he urged economy and honesty in government, established the departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, and served for two periods: 1953-61.

In his second term he urged the Concress to accept a pledge to send US armed forces to any Middle Eastern country requesting assistance against communist aggression - the Eisenhower doctrine.

When the US Supreme Court, on May 17, 1954, declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional, controversy and violence broke out, especially in the South. In September 1957 Eisenhower dispatched 1,000 federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to halt an attempt by the state governor to obstruct a federal court order integrating a high school.

During the two last years of his office, Eisenhower assumed a more vigorous and personal role in directing American foreign policy and excelled in using the new medium: television.

Eisenhower remained unusually popular although his administrations had very many critics. And his farewell address on January 17, 1961, contained pertinent warnings. While taking pride in the prosperity he had helped foster, he made an appeal to reject the lure of materialism and "the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow."

Then, finally, he retired to a small farm of his outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He raised cattle and spent the winters in Palm Springs, California, where he played golf and continued to exude simplicity, despite wide and sophisticated knowledge and deep study.

Minor Chronology

  • 1890 October 14, born in Denison, Texas.
  • 1892 Moved with family to Abilene, Kansas.
  • 1909 Graduated from Abilene High School.
  • 1911-15 Attended U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating with commission as Second lieutenant.
  • 1916 July 1, married Mamie Geneva Doud; promoted to first lieutenant.
  • 1917-18 Commander of tank training school at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, advanced to lieutenant colonel (temporary rank).
  • 1932-35 Senior aide to General Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff of the US Army.
  • 1935-39 Senior military assistant to General MacArthur as military adviser to the Philippine Government.
  • 1941 Chief of staff of the Third Army, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas; advanced to brigadier general.
  • 1942 Appointed commanding general of US forces in Europe.
  • 1943-45 Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.
  • 1945-48 Chief of staff of the US Army.
  • 1948-50 President of Columbia University.
  • 1951-52 Supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe.
  • 1953-61 Thirty-fourth President of the United States.
  • 1969 March 28, died in Washington, D.C.


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