As a high school athlete growing up in Kansas, teamwork and strategy were like meat and potatoes to Dwight Eisenhower. The twin concepts would continue to serve him all his life.
In 1911, he entered West Point, where he starred as a halfback on the football team. After achieving the rank of first lieutenant, World War l ended just one day before he would have been sent to France.
"Ike" went on to serve with distinction in the Panama Canal Zone and later in the Philippines under Douglas MacArthur. He was promoted three times in two years upon returning to the U.S., and with World War II well underway in Europe, he was entrusted with the planning of the Allied invasion of North Africa. It was under Ike's leadership that Operation "D-day" was carried out and the tide of the war was turned. When he returned home, he was a five star general.
In 1948, he accepted the presidency of Columbia University, but he left the following year to preside over the joint chiefs of staff. In 1950 he took a second leave to assist in the creation of NATO, and two years later he was campaigning for the Republican nomination.
A smile the spoke to multitudes and a promise to end the Korean War gave him victory over a hapless Adlai Stevenson.