General Alfred Gruenther

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General Alfred Gruenther's Geni Profile

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Alfred Maximilian Gruenther

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Platte Centre, Nebraska
Death: May 30, 1983 (84)
Place of Burial: Section 7, Arlington Cemetery
Immediate Family:

Son of Christian Gruenther and Mary Gruenther
Husband of Grace Elizabeth Gruenther

Occupation: General WW II
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About General Alfred Gruenther

Alfred Maximilian Gruenther (March 3, 1899-May 30, 1983) was the youngest World War II Major General and after the war, as a four-star General, served as the Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR) in Europe from 1953 to 1956.


Gruenther was born in Platte Center, Nebraska. He attended St. Thomas Academy in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He graduated fourth in his class at the United States Military Academy in 1918. He was the youngest four-star general in U.S. history, advisor and planner to top generals in World War II. He served as chief of staff of the Third Army, Fifth Army, Fifteenth Army Group, and was principal American planner of the allied invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943.

After World War II, he became deputy commander of U.S. forces in Austria in 1945, and was appointed supreme allied commander in Europe/commander-in-chief of the U.S. European Command in 1953, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1956. He appeared on the cover of Time, February 6, 1956. General Gruenther retired from military service in 1956.

After retiring from the Army, he served as president of American Red Cross from 1957 to 1964 and was a member of the Draper Committee, even appearing as a guest on February 10, 1957's successful TV quiz show What's My Line. Gruenther received a Litt.D. from Bates College in 1958.

Gruenther was the recipient of many nations' medals, including the Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters and honorary degrees from American universities.

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General Alfred Gruenther's Timeline

March 3, 1899
Platte Centre, Nebraska
May 30, 1983
Age 84
Section 7, Arlington Cemetery