Member Profile

1961 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Dwight D. Eisenhower*

Thirty-fourth President of the United States

“America is truly the land of opportunity for all its citizens.”

Dwight Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, in 1890, and was the third of seven boys. He was only a year old when his family moved from Texas to Abilene, Kansas. His father worked at Belle Springs Creamery while he and his brothers performed regular chores and found odd jobs in the village.

After he graduated from high school in 1909, Eisenhower worked in a creamery to help his family and to send money to his brother Edgar at law school. He and his brother took turns going to school so that both boys could get an education. In 1911, Eisenhower received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Eisenhower graduated from West Point in 1915. Although he frequently requested overseas assignments during World War I, he was kept at commands in the United States, where he displayed excellent organizational skills and was promoted to brevet Lieutenant Colonel. He rose to Supreme Allied Commander in 1943 and General of the Army in 1944.

In the postwar years, he was president of Columbia University and headed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Eisenhower was elected 34th president of the United States and served two terms, from 1953 to 1961.