When Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for president in 1952, he was already one of the most famous men in the United States. He had led the Allied forces to victory in Europe during World War II (1939–45).
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890. His family moved to Abilene, Kansas, when he was young. Eisenhower was a good student. He enjoyed playing sports of all kinds. He was accepted into West Point Military Academy in 1911.
Eisenhower's military career in the 1920s and 1930s was unremarkable. It was his work during World War II, however, that made him a respected leader. He had commanded all U.S. military troops to victory in Europe. When the war ended in 1945, Eisenhower was a five‐star general. A five‐star general was the highest rank one could reach in the military.
After the war, Eisenhower, or “Ike” as he was nicknamed, led the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO was a group of countries that banded together after the war. They promised to protect each other, especially from the Soviet Union.
Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, were already popular when he ran for president in 1952. His campaign slogan was “I like Ike.” He easily won the election. Richard M. Nixon was Eisenhower's vice‐president. Nixon would later become president.
Eisenhower kept his campaign promise to end the Korean War. He also enforced the ban on school segregation. Segregation was the separation of black and white people in public places.
During Eisenhower's presidency, the Soviet Union grew as a threat to the United States. This was known as the Cold War. It was not a real war with fighting. It meant that both countries competed to be the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world. Both built powerful atomic weapons and both tried to influence other countries to be on their side. The Cold War lasted until 1991, when the Soviet Union broke apart.
Eisenhower served two terms as president. He died in 1969 at the age of 78.