Dwight Eisenhower came from a poor family and decided to join the military to get a free college education. He attended West Point from 1911 to 1915. Eisenhower graduated from West Point as a Second Lieutenant and then continued his education at the Army War College.<p><a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/womens-history-4133260" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">Mamie Doud</a> came from a wealthy family in Iowa. She met Dwight Eisenhower while visiting Texas. As an army wife she moved twenty times with her husband. They had one child live to maturity, David Eisenhower. He would followed in his father&#39;s footsteps at West Point and became an army officer. In later life, he was appointed as ambassador to Belgium by President Nixon.</p>Dwight Eisenhower toiled in relative obscurity as a junior officer until General George C. Marshall recognized his skills and assisted him in moving through the ranks. Surprisingly, in his thirty-five years of duty he never saw active combat.Eisenhower became commander of all US forces in Europe in June 1942. In this role, he led the invasions of North Africa and Sicily along with taking back Italy from German control. For his efforts, he was awarded the post of Supreme Allied Commander in February, 1944 and placed in charge of Operation Overlord. For his successful efforts against the Axis powers, he was made a five star general in December 1944. He led the allies throughout the retaking of Europe. Eisenhower accepted Germany&#39;s surrender in May 1945.<p>After a brief respite from the military as the President of Columbia University, Eisenhower was called back to active duty. President Harry S. Truman appointed him the Supreme Commander of <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-nato-1221961" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">NATO</a>. He served in this position until 1952.</p>As the most popular military figure of his time, Eisenhower was courted by both political parties as a potential candidate for the presidential election of 1952. He ran as a Republican with Richard M. Nixon as his Vice Presidential running mate. He easily defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson with a commanding 55% of the popular vote and 83% of the electoral vote.<p>In the election of 1952, the Korean Conflict was a central issue. Dwight Eisenhower campaigned on bringing the Korean Conflict to an end. After the election but before taking office, he traveled to Korea and participated in the signing of the armistice. This treaty divided the country into North and South Korea with a demilitarized zone between the two.</p>The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States had the right to aid a country threatened by communism. Eisenhower believed in halting the advance of communism and took steps to this effect. He expanded the nuclear arsenal as a deterrent and was responsible for the embargo of Cuba because they were friendly with the Soviet Union. Eisenhower believed in the Domino Theory and sent military advisors to Vietnam to halt the advance of communism.Eisenhower was president when the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States had ruled against segregation, the local officials refused to integrate the schools. President Eisenhower intervened by sending in federal troops to enforce the ruling.In May, 1960, Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union in his U-2 Spy Plane. Powers was captured by the Soviet Union and held prisoner until his eventual release in a prisoner exchange. This event negatively impacted an already tense relationship with the Soviet Union.