|Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States|
1. One of seven sons born to his parents, Dwight Eisenhower was born in Texas in 1890, but grew up in Abilene, Kansas. His parents were originally Mennonites, but later became Jehovah's Witnesses. Dwight, however, never joined the congregation, and later referred to himself as "deeply religious" but not affiliated with any "sect or organization."
2. As a young teenager, Eisenhower injured his leg, and the infection became so severe that doctors considered amputation. He was ultimately forced to repeat his freshman year of high school, but his leg healed completely.
3. Entering West Point because he was too old to join the Naval Academy, Eisenhower played football but failed to make the baseball team - something he later said was one of the greatest disappointments of his life. As a football player, he broke his leg in a game - the same leg he had injured earlier in his life - and it never fully healed. The collegiate player he was tackling during the injury was future Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.
4. Eisenhower married Mamie Doud in 1916, and the couple had two sons. The first son died in 1921 of scarlet fever, but the second son, born in 1922 and named John, is still living. John gave Eisenhower four grandchildren, including a son named David, who became the namesake of the presidential retreat Camp David. David Eisenhower, in turn, married the daughter of Richard Nixon - Eisenhower's Vice-President.
5. During World War II, Eisenhower was elevated to the rank of 5-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allies. He is one of only five men to ever hold a 5-star rank. As Commander of the Allies, Eisenhower was the most powerful military man in the world, and oversaw the D-Day invasion in 1944. Ironically, as Jehovah's Witnesses, his parents had been strict pacifists.
6. Both parties courted Eisenhower for the 1948 presidential election, but he opted instead to remain in the military, while also becoming president of Columbia University. Courted again in 1952, he joined the Republicans and ran against Democrat Adlai Stevenson. Using a now famous campaign slogan - "I Like Ike" - Eisenhower won in a landslide, becoming the only former general in the 20th century to become president. He also became the last president born in the 19th century. When he ran again in 1956, he again defeated Stevenson in a landslide. Despite this, his approval ratings were very low by the time he left office.
7. Eisenhower was the first president of 50 states, achieving that distinction when Hawaii became a state in 1959. He was also the first president with a pilot's license, having earned it in 1939. Eisenhower is also the only 20th century president who was bald. Finally, Eisenhower became the first president to appear on color television.
8. Eisenhower loved golf. He played more than 100 rounds of golf each year, was a member of Augusta National, and had a putting green installed on the White House lawn.
9. Eisenhower is the only president in the 20th century who never held a political office prior to becoming president, and only the 2nd in U.S. history (Zachary Taylor was the other).
10. Eisenhower had several medical issues during his presidency, including a mild heart attack, a ventricular aneurysm, and a mild stroke. He also suffered from Crohn's Disease and had gallbladder problems. He lived, however, for 8 more years after leaving office in 1961, finally dying of congestive heart failure in 1969. During his autopsy, an adrenal tumor was discovered which might have contributed to his continual heart problems late in life (he had survived several more heart attacks after leaving office).