John Eisenhower: Son of President Dwight D Eisenhower who forged a career as a soldier, diplomat and acclaimed historian

John Eisenhower was a soldier, diplomat and acclaimed historian who was the only surviving son of President Dwight D Eisenhower. A graduate of West Point, like his father, and holder of the rank of brigadier general, he was the US Ambassador to Belgium and a prolific author of history and biography books.

He published books on both world wars, the American Civil War and the Mexican War. Praise came his way early for The Bitter Woods, which focused on the Battle of the Bulge. He had just completed a book on William Sherman, a Union general in the Civil War. He also wrote a book about his father, General Ike: A Personal Reminiscence. A discussion in American History magazine of the book called it a "highly readable account of his father's rise to commander and then to statesman that never fails to fascinate." It offers close and personal glimpses of the relationship between his father and such major figures of world history as Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.

He graduated from West Point in 1944 and saw combat with the Third Infantry Division in the Korean War, receiving the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Bronze Star. After a variety of Army posts he went to the White House as assistant to one of his father's aides, General Andrew Goodpaster. His efforts to become known as more than his father's son were sometimes seen as a struggle, but reviewers of his books accepted him as skilled historian with a reputation of his own.

John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, soldier, diplomat and historian: born Denver, Colorado 3 August 1922; twice married (four children); died Trappe, Maryland 21 December 2013.

© The Washington Post

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