5. John Foster Dulles,

President Eisenhower's Secretary of State, 1953 - 59
Eisenhower admired him for his breadth of knowledge and heavily relied on his expertise in world affairs. He considered Dulles one of the great Secretaries of State, appreciating the skill and enthusiasm with which he performed his duties. Eisenhower did, however, privately criticize him for his inflexibility, particularly in dealings with the Soviets. But he considered the public criticism of Dulles, (which typically branded the Secretary as arrogant, self righteous, and bellicose), to be grossly unfair. Nevertheless, Eisenhower exploited the public's perception of his Secretary, using him as a shield to deflect criticism of foreign policy away from himself.

I can not tell you how definitely I lean upon his wisdom, judgement, and integrity.

To General Alfred Guenther (Ann Whitman Files)

4. Milton Eisenhower,

Eisenhower's youngest brother, President of Penn State and John Hopkins University
Eisenhower was very proud of his brother's accomplishments and abilities. He liked to say that his brother was the one who should have been president. Exceptionally bright with experience in both government and education, Milton's advice was highly valued by Eisenhower.

As I have more than once told you, the man who from the standpoint of knowledge of human and governmental affairs, persuasiveness in speech and dedication of country, would make the best President I can think of is my young brother, Milton.

Letter to Swede Hazlett, Jan. 24, 1953

3. General Fox Conner,

Major Eisenhower's commanding officer in Panama, 1922-24
While Eisenhower served as a staff officer at Camp Gaillard, General Conner took him under wing and schooled him in the art and science of military affairs. Eisenhower called him one of the ablest men he ever knew and one to whom he owed an incalculable debt.

(General Fox Connor) has held a place in my affections for many years that no other, not even a relative, could obtain.

To Kevin McCann (Kevin McCann Papers)

2. General George Marshall,

Chief of Staff during W.W.II, President Truman's Secretary of State 1947-48 and Secretary of Defense 1950-52
Along with Conner, Marshall was one of Eisenhower's most important mentors. As Chief of Staff, he was responsible for Eisenhower's meteoric rise during the Second World War. He was the man from whom Eisenhower sought advice, counsel, and approval. Eisenhower said that of all the Americans he knew, "George Marshall possessed more of the qualities of greatness than has any other."*

*Letter to Swede Hazlett, Dec. 8, 1954

And Eisenhower's No. 1 Most Admired Contemporary:

1. Winston Churchill,

Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1940 - 45 and 1951 - 55
Eisenhower's friendship with Churchill developed during the Second World War. Despite often disagreeing on strategy, they never ceased to have the highest regard for each other. Churchill professed great confidence in Eisenhower and always defended him in the face of criticism from the British high command. Eisenhower said Churchill "came nearest to fulfilling the requirements of greatness in any individual I have met in my lifetime."*

*Letter to Swede Hazlett, Dec. 8, 1954






The Life of DDE | History and Culture