General of the Army George C. Marshall, U.S Secretary of State and Defense

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General George Catlett Marshall

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Uniontown, Pennsylvania,, USA
Death: October 16, 1959 (78)
Washington, District of Columbia, DC, USA
Place of Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Catlett Marshall, Sr. and Laura Emily Marshall
Husband of Elizabeth Marshall (Coles) and Katherine Marshall (Tupper)
Brother of William Champe Marshall; Stuart Bradford Marshall and Maria L. Marshall

Occupation: American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:

About General of the Army George C. Marshall, U.S Secretary of State and Defense

George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American statesman and soldier. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army under presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, and served as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense under Truman. He was hailed as the "organizer of victory" by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II. After the war, in his service as Secretary of State, Marshall advocated a significant U.S. economic and political commitment to post-war European recovery, including the Marshall Plan that bore his name. In recognition of this work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Marshall was a 1901 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. After serving briefly as commandant of students at the Danville Military Academy in Danville, Virginia, Marshall received his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry in February, 1902. In the years after the Spanish–American War, he served in the United States and overseas in positions of increasing rank and responsibility, including platoon leader and company commander in the Philippines during the Philippine–American War. He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 Army Staff College class. In 1916 Marshall was assigned as aide-de-camp to J. Franklin Bell, the commander of the Western Department. After the United States entered World War I, Marshall served with Bell while Bell commanded the Department of the East. He was assigned to the staff of the 1st Division, and assisted with the organization's mobilization and training in the United States, as well as planning of its combat operations in France. Subsequently, assigned to the staff of the American Expeditionary Forces headquarters, he was a key planner of American operations including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

After the war, Marshall was assigned as an aide-de-camp to John J. Pershing, who was then serving as the Army's Chief of Staff. He later served on the Army staff, commanded the 15th Infantry Regiment in China, and was an instructor at the Army War College. In 1927, he became assistant commandant of the Army's Infantry School, where he modernized command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during World War II. In 1932 and 1933 he commanded the 8th Infantry Regiment and Fort Screven, Georgia. Marshall commanded 5th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and Vancouver Barracks from 1936 to 1938, and received promotion to brigadier general. During this command, Marshall was also responsible for 35 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division on the War Department staff, and he was subsequently appointed as the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff. When Chief of Staff Malin Craig retired in 1939, Marshall became acting Chief of Staff, and then Chief of Staff. He served as Chief of Staff until the end of the war in 1945.

As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, and received promotion to five-star rank as General of the Army. Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific until the end of the war; in addition to being hailed as the organizer of Allied victory by Winston Churchill, Time magazine named Marshall its Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall retired from active service in 1945, but remained on active duty, a requirement for holders of five-star rank. From December 15, 1945 to January 1947 he served as a special envoy to China in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a coalition government between the Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong.

As Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, Marshall received credit for the Marshall Plan for Europe's post-war rebuilding, the success of which was recognized with award of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. After resigning as Secretary of State, Marshall served as chairman of American Battle Monuments Commission and president of the American National Red Cross. As Secretary of Defense at the start of the Korean War, Marshall worked to restore the military's confidence and morale at the end of its post-World War II demobilization and then its initial buildup for combat in Korea and operations during the Cold War. After resigning as Defense Secretary, Marshall retired to his home in Virginia. He died in 1959 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Once noted as the "organizer of victory" by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II, George Catlett Marshall (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, the third Secretary of Defense, Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 1953.

Nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt to be Army Chief of Staff, Marshall was promoted to full General and sworn in on September 1, 1939, the day German forces invaded Poland, which began World War II. He would hold this post until the end of the war in 1945.

World War II As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, inheriting an outmoded, poorly-equipped army of 189,000 men and, partly drawing from his experience teaching and developing techniques of modern warfare as an instructor at the Army War College, coordinated the large-scale expansion and modernization of the U. S. Army. Though he had never actually led troops in combat, Marshall was a skilled organizer with a talent for inspiring other officers.

Many of the American generals who were given top commands during the war were either picked or recommended by Marshall, including Dwight Eisenhower, Lloyd Fredendall, Leslie McNair, Mark Wayne Clark and Omar Bradley.

On December 16, 1944, Marshall became the first American general to be promoted to 5 star rank, the newly created General of the Army. He was the second American to be promoted to a 5 star rank, as William Leahy was promoted to fleet admiral the previous day. This position is the American equivalent rank to field marshal.

in early 1947, Truman appointed Marshall Secretary of State. He became the spokesman for the State Department's ambitious plans to rebuild Europe. On June 5, 1947 in a speech at Harvard University, he outlined the American plan. The European Recovery Program, as it was formally known, became known as the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan would help Europe quickly rebuild and modernize its economy along American lines. The Soviet Union forbade its satellites to participate.

Marshall was named TIME's Man of the Year for 1947, and received the Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work in 1953. He was the only U.S. Army General to have received this honor.

George Cattlet Marshall was born into a middle-class family in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of George C. Marshall, Sr. and Laura Bradford Marshall. Marshall was a scion of an old Virginia family, as well as a distant relative of former Chief Justice John Marshall.

Marshall graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI),[5] where he was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Order, in 1901. He married Elizabeth Carter Cole of Lexington, Virginia, in 1902. She died in 1927. In 1930, he married Katherine Boyce Tupper. Marshall's stepson with Tupper, Army Lt. Allen Tupper Brown, was killed by a German sniper in Italy in 1944. George Marshall maintained a home, known as Dodona Manor (now restored), in Leesburg, Virginia. Actress Kitty Winn is his step-granddaughter.

Marshall died on Friday, October 16, 1959. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

After leaving office, in a television interview, Harry Truman was asked who he thought was the American who made the greatest contribution of the last thirty years. Without hesitation, Truman picked Marshall, adding "I don't think in this age in which I have lived, that there has been a man who has been a greater administrator; a man with a knowledge of military affairs equal to General Marshall."

Orson Welles, in an interview with Dick Cavett, called Marshall "...the greatest human being who was also a great man... He was a tremendous gentlemen, an old fashioned institution which isn't with us anymore."

In spite of world-wide acclaim, dozens of national and international awards and honors and the Nobel Peace prize, public opinion became bitterly divided along party lines on Marshall's record.

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General of the Army George C. Marshall, U.S Secretary of State and Defense's Timeline

1880
December 31, 1880
United States
1959
October 16, 1959
Age 78
Washington, District of Columbia, DC, United States
????
Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States