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|15th United States Army Chief of Staff|
September 1, 1939 – November 18, 1945
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
|Preceded by||Malin Craig|
|Succeeded by||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|50th United States Secretary of State|
January 21, 1947 – January 20, 1949
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||James F. Byrnes|
|Succeeded by||Dean G. Acheson|
|10th President of the American Red Cross|
October 1, 1949 – December 1, 1950
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Basil O'Connor|
|Succeeded by||E. Roland Harriman|
|3rd United States Secretary of Defense|
September 21, 1950 – September 12, 1951
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Louis A. Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Robert A. Lovett|
|Born||George Catlett Marshall, Jr.
December 31, 1880
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||October 16, 1959
Walter Reed Hospital
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Carter Coles
(m. 1902; her death 1927)
Katherine Boyce Tupper Brown
(m. 1930; his death 1959)
|Alma mater||Virginia Military Institute|
|Awards||Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Nobel Peace Prize
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1902–1959|
|Rank||General of the Army|
|Commands||Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army|
|College football career|
|Career highlights and awards|
George Catlett Marshall, Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American statesman and soldier, famous for his leadership roles during World War II and the Cold War. 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.
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 subsequently 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 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. In late 1945 and early 1946 he served as a special envoy to China in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a coalition government between the Nationalist 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.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Entry into the Army and the Philippines
- 3 World War I
- 4 Between World War I and II
- 5 World War II
- 6 Analysis of Pearl Harbor intelligence failure
- 7 Post War: China
- 8 Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize
- 9 Secretary of Defense
- 10 Retirement
- 11 Death and burial
- 12 Reputation and legacy
- 13 Family life
- 14 Fictional portrayals
- 15 Dates of rank
- 16 Awards and decorations
- 17 Bibliography
- 18 See also
- 19 References
- 20 Further reading
- 21 External links
George Catlett Marshall, Jr., was born into a middle-class family in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of George Catlett Marshall, Sr. and Laura Emily (née 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), where he was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Order, in 1901. He was an All-Southern tackle for the VMI Keydets varsity football team in 1900.
Entry into the Army and the Philippines
Following graduation from VMI in 1901, Marshall sat for a competitive examination for a commission in the U.S. Army. While awaiting the results he took the position of Commandant of Students at the Danville Military Institute in Danville, Virginia. Marshall passed the exam and was commissioned a second lieutenant in February, 1902. Prior to World War I, he was posted to various positions in the United States and the Philippines, including serving as an infantry platoon leader and company commander during the Philippine–American War and other guerrilla uprisings. He was schooled and trained in modern warfare, including a tour at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1906 to 1910 as both a student and an instructor. He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 Army Staff College class.
After another tour of duty in the Philippines, Marshall returned to the United States in 1916 to serve as aide-de-camp to the commander of the Western Department, former Army chief of staff Major General J. Franklin Bell, at the Presidio in San Francisco. After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Marshall relocated with Bell to Governors Island, New York when Bell was reassigned as commander of the Department of the East. Marshall was soon after assigned to help oversee the mobilization of the 1st Division for service in France.
World War I
During the Great War, he had roles as a planner of both training and operations. He went to France in mid-1917 as the director of training and planning for the 1st Division. In this capacity he planned the first American attack and victory of the war at Cantigny, May 28–31, 1918. In mid-1918, he was posted to the headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force, where he worked closely with his mentor, General John Joseph Pershing, and was a key planner of American operations. He was instrumental in the planning and coordination of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which contributed to the defeat of the German Army on the Western Front in 1918.
Between World War I and II
In 1919, he became an aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing. Between 1920 and 1924, while Pershing was Army Chief of Staff, Marshall worked in a number of positions in the Army, focusing on training and teaching modern, mechanized warfare. Between World Wars I and II, he was a key planner and writer in the War Department, commanded the 15th Infantry Regiment for three years in China, and taught at the Army War College. In 1927, as a lieutenant colonel, he was appointed assistant commandant of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, where he initiated major changes to modernize command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during World War II. Marshall placed Edwin F. Harding in charge of the Infantry School's publications, and Harding became editor:41 of Infantry in Battle, a book that codified the lessons of World War I. Infantry in Battle is still used as an officer's training manual in the Infantry Officer's Course and was the training manual for most of the infantry officers and leaders of World War II.
From June 1932 to June 1933 he was the Commanding Officer of the 8th Infantry Regiment at Fort Screven, Georgia. From July 1933 to October 1933 he was commander of Fort Moultrie, South Carolina and District I of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and he was promoted to colonel in September 1933. He was senior instructor and chief of staff for the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Division from November 1933 to August 1936.
Marshall commanded the 5th Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division and Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington from 1936 to 1938, and was promoted to brigadier general in October 1936. In addition to obtaining a long-sought and significant troop command, traditionally viewed as an indispensable step to the pinnacle of the US Army, Marshall was also responsible for 35 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. As post commander Marshall made a concerted effort to cultivate relations with the city of Portland and to enhance the image of the US Army in the region. With the CCC, he initiated a series of measures to improve the morale of the participants and to make the experience beneficial in their later life. He started a newspaper for the CCC region that proved a vehicle to promote CCC successes, and he initiated a variety of programs that developed their skills and improved their health. Marshall's inspections of the CCC camps gave him and his wife Katherine the chance to enjoy the beauty of the American northwest and made that assignment what he called "the most instructive service I ever had, and the most interesting."
In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division in Washington D.C. and subsequently reassigned as Deputy Chief of Staff. In that capacity, then-Brigadier General Marshall attended a conference at the White House at which President Roosevelt proposed a plan to provide aircraft to England in support of the war effort, lacking forethought with regard to logistical support or training. With all other attendees voicing support of the plan, Marshall was the only person to voice his disagreement. Despite the common belief that he had ended his career, this action resulted in his being nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt to be the Army Chief of Staff. Upon the retirement of General Malin Craig on July 1, 1939, Marshall became acting chief of staff. Marshall was promoted to general and sworn in as Chief of Staff on September 1, 1939, the same day the German Army launched its invasion of Poland. 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 D. Eisenhower, Jacob L. Devers, George S. Patton, Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., Lloyd Fredendall, Leslie McNair, Mark Wayne Clark and Omar Bradley.
Expands military force fortyfold
Faced with the necessity of turning an army of former civilians into a force of over eight million soldiers by 1942 (a fortyfold increase within three years), Marshall directed General Leslie McNair to focus efforts on rapidly producing large numbers of soldiers. With the exception of airborne forces, Marshall approved McNair's concept of an abbreviated training schedule for men entering Army land forces training, particularly in regard to basic infantry skills, weapons proficiency, and combat tactics. At the time, most U.S. commanders at lower levels had little or no combat experience of any kind. Without the input of experienced British or Allied combat officers on the nature of modern warfare and enemy tactics, many resorted to formulaic training methods emphasizing static defense and orderly large-scale advances by motorized convoys over improved roads. In consequence, Army forces deploying to Africa suffered serious initial reverses when encountering German armored combat units in Africa at Kasserine Pass and other major battles. Even as late as 1944, U.S. soldiers undergoing stateside training in preparation for deployment against German forces in Europe were not being trained in combat procedures and tactics in use there.
Replacement system criticized
Originally, Marshall had planned a 265-division Army with a system of unit rotation such as practiced by the British and other Allies. By mid-1943, however, after pressure from government and business leaders to preserve manpower for industry and agriculture, he had abandoned this plan in favor of a 90-division Army using individual replacements sent via a circuitous process from training to divisions in combat. The individual replacement system devised by Marshall and implemented by McNair greatly exacerbated problems with unit cohesion and effective transfer of combat experience to newly trained soldiers and officers. In Europe, where there were few pauses in combat with German forces, the individual replacement system had broken down completely by late 1944. Hastily trained replacements or service personnel reassigned as infantry were given six weeks' refresher training and thrown into battle with Army divisions locked in front-line combat.
The new men were often not even proficient in the use of their own rifles or weapons systems, and once in combat, could not receive enough practical instruction from veterans before being killed or wounded, usually within the first three or four days. Under such conditions, many replacements suffered a crippling loss of morale, while veteran soldiers were kept in line units until they were killed, wounded, or incapacitated by battle fatigue or physical illness. Incidents of soldiers AWOL from combat duty as well as battle fatigue and self-inflicted injury rose rapidly during the last eight months of the war with Germany. As one historian concluded, "Had the Germans been given a free hand to devise a replacement system..., one that would do the Americans the most harm and the least good, they could not have done a better job."
Marshall's abilities to pick competent field commanders during the early part of the war was decidedly mixed. While he had been instrumental in advancing the career of the able Dwight D. Eisenhower, he had also recommended the swaggering Lloyd Fredendall to Eisenhower for a major command in the American invasion of North Africa during Operation Torch. Marshall was especially fond of Fredendall, describing him as "one of the best" and remarking in a staff meeting when his name was mentioned, "I like that man; you can see determination all over his face." Eisenhower duly picked him to command the 39,000-man Central Task Force (the largest of three) in Operation Torch. Both men would come to regret that decision, as Fredendall was the leader of U.S. Army forces at the disastrous Battle of the Kasserine Pass.
Planned invasion of Europe
During World War II, Marshall was instrumental in preparing the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces for the invasion of the European continent. Marshall wrote the document that would become the central strategy for all Allied operations in Europe. He initially scheduled Operation Overlord for April 1, 1943, but met with strong opposition from Winston Churchill, who convinced Roosevelt to commit troops to Operation Husky for the invasion of Italy. Some authors think that World War II could have ended one year earlier if Marshall had had his way; others think that such an invasion would have meant utter failure. This argument is justifiable, as it is true that the German Army in 1943 was overstretched, and defensive works in Normandy were not ready.
It was assumed that Marshall would become the Supreme Commander of Operation Overlord, but Roosevelt selected Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. While Marshall enjoyed considerable success in working with Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he refused to lobby for the position. President Roosevelt didn't want to lose his presence in the states. He told Marshall, "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington." When rumors circulated that the top job would go to Marshall, many critics viewed the transfer as a demotion for Marshall, since he would leave his position as Chief of Staff of the Army and lose his seat on the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
On December 16, 1944, Marshall became the first American Army general to be promoted to five-star rank, the newly created General of the Army – the American equivalent rank to field marshal. He was the second American to be promoted to a five-star rank, as William Leahy was promoted to fleet admiral the previous day.
Throughout the remainder of World War II, Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific. He was characterized as the organizer of Allied victory by Winston Churchill. Time magazine named Marshall Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall resigned his post of Chief of Staff in 1945, but did not retire, as regulations stipulate that Generals of the Army remain on active duty for life. "The bomber will always get through"--British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, 1932.
Analysis of Pearl Harbor intelligence failure
After World War II ended, the Congressional Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack received testimony on the intelligence failure. It amassed 25,000 pages of documents, 40 volumes, and included nine reports and investigations, eight of which had been previously completed. These reports included criticism of Marshall for delay in sending General Walter Short, the Army commander in Hawaii, important information obtained from intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages. The report also criticized Marshall’s lack of knowledge of the readiness of the Hawaiian Command during November and December 1941. Ten days after the attack, Lt. General Short and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the Navy at Pearl Harbor, were both relieved of their duties. The final report of the Joint Committee did not single out or fault Marshall. While the report was critical of the overall situation, the committee noted that subordinates had failed to pass on important information to their superiors, including Marshall.
Post War: China
In December 1945, President Harry Truman sent Marshall to China, much to the dismay of his wife, Katherine, who later said "They kept taking my George away from me", to broker a coalition government between the Nationalist allies under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong. Marshall had no leverage over the Communists, but he threatened to withdraw American aid essential to the Nationalists. Both sides rejected his proposals and the Chinese Civil War escalated, with the Communists winning in 1949. His mission a failure, he returned to the United States in January 1947. Chiang Kai-shek and some historians later claimed that cease-fire, under pressure of Marshall, saved the Communists from defeat. As Secretary of State in 1947–48, Marshall seems to have disagreed with strong opinions in The Pentagon and State Department that Chiang's success was vital to American interests, insisting that U.S. troops not become involved.
Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize
After Marshall's return to the U.S. 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 proposal. The European Recovery Program, as it was formally known, became known as the Marshall Plan. Clark Clifford had suggested to Truman that the plan be called the Truman Plan, but Truman immediately dismissed that idea and insisted that it be called 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 again named Time's Man of the Year for 1947. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work in 1953, the only career officer in United States Army to ever receive this honor.
As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the state of Israel. Marshall felt that if the state of Israel was declared that a war would break out in the Middle East (which it did in 1948 one day after Israel declared independence). Marshall saw recognizing the Jewish state as a political move to gain Jewish support in the upcoming election, in which Truman was expected to lose to Dewey. He told President Truman in May 1948, "If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you." However, Marshall refused to vote in any election as a matter of principle.
Marshall resigned from the State Department because of ill health on January 7, 1949, and the same month became chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission. In September 1949, Marshall was named president of the American National Red Cross.
Secretary of Defense
When the early months of the Korean War showed how poorly prepared the Defense Department was, President Truman fired Secretary Louis A. Johnson and named Marshall as Secretary of Defense in September 1950. The appointment required a congressional waiver because the National Security Act of 1947 prohibited a uniformed military officer from serving in the post. This prohibition included Marshall since individuals promoted to General of the Army are not technically retired, but remain officially on active duty even after their active service has concluded. Marshall's main role as Secretary of Defense was to restore confidence and morale while rebuilding the armed forces following their post-World War II demobilization.
Marshall worked to provide more manpower to meet the demands of both the Korean War and the Cold War in Europe. To implement his priorities Marshall brought in a new leadership team, including Robert A. Lovett as his deputy and Anna M. Rosenberg, former head of the War Manpower Commission, as assistant secretary of defense for manpower. He also worked to rebuild the relationship between the Defense and State Departments, as well as the relationship between the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Marshall participated in the post-Inchon landing discussion that led to authorizing Douglas MacArthur to conduct operations in North Korea. A secret “eyes only” signal from Marshall to MacArthur on September 29, 1950 declared the Truman administration's commitment: “We want you to feel unhampered strategically and tactically to proceed north of the 38th Parallel”. At the same time, Marshall advised against public pronouncements which might lead to United Nations votes undermining or countermanding the initial mandate to restore the border between North and South Korea. Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were generally supportive of MacArthur because they were of the view that field commanders should be able to exercise their best judgment in accomplishing the intent of their superiors.
Following Chinese military intervention in Korea during late November, Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought ways to aid MacArthur while avoiding all-out war with China. In the debate over what to do about China's increased involvement, Marshall opposed a cease–fire on the grounds that it would make the U.S. look weak in China's eyes, leading to demands for future concessions. In addition, Marshall argued that the U.S. had a moral obligation to honor its commitment to South Korea. When British Prime Minister Clement Attlee suggested diplomatic overtures to China, Marshall opposed, arguing that it was impossible to negotiate with the Communist government. In addition, Marshall expressed concern that concessions to China would undermine confidence in the U.S. among its Asian allies, including Japan and the Philippines. When some in Congress favored expanding the war in Korea and confronting China, Marshall argued against a wider war in Korea, continuing instead to stress the importance of containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War battle for primacy in Europe.
Relief of General MacArthur
Increasingly concerned about public statements from General Douglas MacArthur, commander of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, which contradicted President Harry S. Truman's on prosecution of the war, on the morning of 6 April 1951 Truman held a meeting with Marshall, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar Bradley, Secretary of State Acheson and advisor W. Averell Harriman to discuss whether MacArthur should be removed from command.
Harriman was emphatically in favor of MacArthur's relief, but Bradley opposed it. Marshall asked for more time to consider the matter. Acheson was in favor but did not disclose this, instead warning Truman that if he did it, MacArthur's relief would cause "the biggest fight of your administration." At another meeting the following day, Marshall and Bradley continued to oppose MacArthur's relief. On 8 April, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Marshall, and each expressed the view that MacArthur's relief was desirable from a "military point of view," suggesting that "if MacArthur were not relieved, a large segment of our people would charge that civil authorities no longer controlled the military."
Marshall, Bradley, Acheson and Harriman met with Truman again on 9 April. Bradley informed the President of the views of the Joint Chiefs, and Marshall added that he agreed with them. Truman wrote in his diary that "it is of unanimous opinion of all that MacArthur be relieved. All four so advise." (The Joint Chiefs would later insist that they had only "concurred" with the relief, not "recommended" it.)
On April 11, 1951, President Truman directed transmittal of an order to MacArthur, issued over Bradley's signature, relieving MacArthur of his assignment in Korea and directing him to turn over command to Matthew Ridgway. In line with Marshall's view, and those of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur's relief was looked upon by proponents as being necessary to reassert the tenet of civilian control of the military.
Marshall retired in September 1951 to his home, Dodona Manor, in Leesburg, Virginia to tend to his gardens and continue his passion for horseback riding. Although, in 1953 he did agree to serve as head of the American delegation at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He also served as Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission from 1949 to 1959.
Death and burial
Marshall died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1959. He was 78 years old. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. In 1959, two other equivalent-ranking U. S. military officers also died, fleet admirals William Halsey Jr. and William D. Leahy.
Reputation and legacy
Marshall's reputation for excellence as a military organizer and planner was recognized early in his career, and became known throughout the Army. In a performance appraisal prepared while Marshall was a lieutenant in the Philippines, his superior, Captain E. J. Williams responded to the routine question of whether he would want the evaluated officer to serve under his command again by writing of Marshall "Should the exigencies of active service place him in exalted command I would be glad to serve under him.” (Emphasis added.)
In 1913 General Johnson Hagood, then a lieutenant colonel, completed a written evaluation of Marshall's performance in which he called Marshall a military genius. Responding to the question of whether he would want his subordinate Marshall to serve under him again, Hagood wrote "Yes, but I would prefer to serve under his command." (Emphasis added.)
In addition to his military success, Marshall is primarily remembered as the driving force behind the Marshall Plan, which provided billions in aid to post war Europe to restart the economies of the destroyed countries. In recent years, the cooperation required between former European adversaries as part of the Marshall Plan has been recognized as one of the earliest factors that led to formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, and eventually the European Union.
In a television interview after leaving office, Harry S. Truman was asked which American he thought had made the greatest contribution of the preceding 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 said in an interview with Dick Cavett that "Marshall is the greatest man I ever met... I think he was the greatest human being who was also a great man... He was a tremendous gentleman, an old fashioned institution which isn't with us anymore."
Marshall married Elizabeth Carter Coles, or "Lily", on Letcher Avenue at her mother's home in Lexington, Virginia, in 1902. She died in 1927 after a successful surgery that put significant strain on her weak heart. They never had any children together.
In 1930, Marshall married Katherine Boyce Tupper (October 8, 1882 – December 18, 1978), widow of Baltimore lawyer Clifton Stevenson Brown, who was murdered by a disgruntled client, and the mother of three children. One of Marshall's stepsons with Tupper was US Army Lieutenant Allen Tupper Brown, who was killed by a German sniper in Italy on May 29, 1944. Another stepson was Major Clifton Stevenson Brown, Jr. (1914–1952). Step-daughter Molly Brown Winn, who is the mother of actress Kitty Winn, was married to US Army Major James J. Winn (former aide to General Marshall).
George Marshall maintained a home, known as Dodona Manor and later The Marshall House (now restored), in Leesburg, Virginia. This was his first and only permanent residence owned by Marshall who later said "this is Home...a real home after 41 years of wandering." The home and its surrounding gardens are open to the public as a museum with a goal of forwarding Marshall's leadership qualities and legacy.
Marshall has played in film and television by
- Keith Andes in the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora!
- Ward Costello in the 1977 film MacArthur
- Dana Andrews in the 1979 film Ike, The War Years.
- Norman Burton in the 1988 miniseries War and Remembrance.
- Hal Holbrook in the 1989 television film Day One.
- Harris Yulin in the 1995 television movie Truman.
- Harve Presnell in the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan.
- Scott Wilson in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor.
- Donald Eugene McCoy in the 2009 Chinese movie The Founding of a Republic.
- Richard DuVal in the 2012 Russian mini-series "Chkalov".
Dates of rank
|No pin insignia in 1902||Second Lieutenant, United States Army: February 2, 1902|
|First Lieutenant, United States Army: March 7, 1907|
|Captain, United States Army: July 1, 1916|
|Major, National Army: August 5, 1917|
|Lieutenant Colonel, National Army: January 5, 1918|
|Colonel, National Army: August 27, 1918|
|Captain, Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): June 30, 1920|
|Major, Regular Army : July 1, 1920|
|Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army: August 21, 1923|
|Colonel, Regular Army: September 1, 1933|
|Brigadier General, Regular Army: October 1, 1936|
|Major General, Regular Army: September 1, 1939|
|General, Regular Army, for service as Army Chief of Staff: September 1, 1939|
|General of the Army, Army of the United States: December 16, 1944|
|General of the Army rank made permanent in the Regular Army: April 11, 1946|
Awards and decorations
U.S. military honors
|Honorary Knight Grand Cross Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)|
|Grand Cross Legion of Honor (France)|
|Order of Military Merit (Brazil) (Presented by General Franciso José Pinto on behalf of President Getullo Vargas on 3 June 1939)|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile)|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Boyacá Cherifien (Colombia) (Given by President Ospina Perez as he opened the IX Panamerican Conference, March 1948)|
|Order of Military Merit, First Class (Cuba)|
|Star of Abdon Calderon, First Class (Ecuador)|
|Grand Cross Order of George I with swords (Greece)|
|Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)|
|Order of the Crown of Italy (Italy)|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)|
|Grand Cross with Swords Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)|
|Gran Official del Sol del Peru (Peru)|
|Order of Suvorov, 1st class (Soviet Union)|
Foreign decorations and medals
|Croix de Guerre (France)|
|Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia|
|Silver Medal for Bravery (Montenegro)|
|Medal of Solidarity, 2nd Class (Panama)|
- In 1946, he was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
- In 1948, he was awarded the Grand Lodge of New York's Distinguished Achievement Award for his role and contributions during and after World War II.
- Nobel Peace Prize 1953 for the Marshall Plan.
- The United States Postal Service honored him with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 20¢ postage stamp.
- 1959 Karlspreis (International Charlemagne Prize of the city of Aachen).
- 1960 George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, originally the Army Ballistics Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville Alabama, became a NASA field center and was renamed.
- The British Parliament established the Marshall Scholarship in recognition of Marshall's contributions to Anglo-American relations.
- Many buildings and streets throughout the U.S. and other nations are named in his honor.
- George C. Marshall Award, the highest award given to a chapter in Kappa Alpha Order.
- George C. Marshall High School, founded in 1962 and located in Falls Church, Virginia, is the only public high school in the United States named for Marshall. The nickname of the school – "The Statesmen" – appropriately reflects his life and contributions.
- The Marshall Elementary School is in the Laurel Highlands School District, Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
- George C. Marshall Elementary School: located in Vancouver, Washington.
- The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- George Catlett Marshall Medal, awarded by the Association of the United States Army. Awarded to Bob Hope in 1972.
- Behrman, Greg. The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and How America Helped Rebuild Europe. New York: Free Press, 2008.
- Cray, Ed. General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman. Norton, 1990. 847 pp.
- Harold I. Gullan; "Expectations of Infamy: Roosevelt and Marshall Prepare for War, 1938–41." Presidential Studies Quarterly Volume: 28#3 1998. pp 510+ online edition
- Hein, David. "A Case Study in Principled Leadership: General George C. Marshall’s Core Beliefs". Lecture delivered at the John Jay Institute, Philadelphia, PA, May 8, 2013.
- Hein, David. "In War for Peace: General George C. Marshall's Core Convictions and Ethical Leadership". Touchstone 26, no. 2 (March/April 2013): 41–48.
- Hein, David. "General George C. Marshall: Why He Still Matters." Marshall magazine (George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, VA), Fall 2016, pp. 12-17.
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- German Marshall Fund
- George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies
- George C. Marshall High School
- Marshall Mission to China
- Marshall Scholarship
- Marshall Space Flight Center
- Task Force Marshall a training organization of the South Carolina Army National Guard, was named in his honor
- The George C. Marshall Foundation
- USS George C. Marshall (SSBN-654)
- Marshall Papers Pentagon Office Selected Correspondence Box 69 Folder 18 George C. Marshall Foundation http://www.marshallfoundation.org
- George Catlett Marshall, General of the Army
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Marshall even went to great lengths to prevent himself from falling prey to the allures of power. He had always refused to vote because he subscribed to the belief that a professional soldier should remain above politics, but he took a number of other steps to insulate himself from the corrupting influence of power once he became chief of staff.
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- Vol. 2: "We Cannot Delay," July 1, 1939 – December 6, 1941. (1986)
- Vol. 3: The Right Man for the Job, December 7, 1941 – May 31, 1943. (1991)
- Vol. 4: "Aggressive and Determined Leadership," June 1, 1943 – December 31, 1944. (1996)
- Vol. 5: "The Finest Soldier," January 1, 1945 – January 7, 1947. (2003)
- Vol. 6: "The Whole World Hangs in the Balance," January 8, 1947 – September 30, 1949. (2012)
- Vol. 7: "The Man of the Age," October 1, 1949 – October 16, 1959. (2016), xxxviii, 1046 pp.
- Bland, Larry; Jeans, Roger B.; and Wilkinson, Mark, ed. George C. Marshall's Mediation Mission to China, December 1945 – January 1947. Lexington, Va.: George C. Marshall Found., 1998. 661 pp.
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- Thompson, Rachel Yarnell. Marshall - A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War. George C. Marshall International Center, 2014.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: George Marshall|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Marshall.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Brief biography at the official Nobel Prize site
- The Marshall Foundation
- George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch Germany
- The Marshall Plan Speech MP3
- The Marshall Films Collection
- Marshall Scholarships
- The Marshall Plan Speech
- The Marshall House (Dodona Manor)
- "George C. Marshall: Soldier of Peace" (Smithsonian Institution)
- Annotated bibliography for George Marshall from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
- The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funeral, 1921–1969, CHAPTER XIX, General of the Army George C. Marshall, Special Military Funeral, 16 – October 20, 1959 by B. C. Mossman and M. W. Stark. United States Army Center of Military History, 1991. CMH Pub 90-1.
- The George C. Marshall Index at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Part 1 and Part 2
- City of Vancouver, Washington's "General George C. Marshall and Vancouver" page
- Task Force Marshall Information Page
- Joint Committee on The Investigation of Pearl Harbor, 79th Congress
- The short film Big Picture: The General Marshall Story is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Rachel Yarnell Thompson's Marshall Biography: Marshall - A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War
|Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1939 – 1945
Dwight D. Eisenhower
James F. Byrnes
|U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: Harry S. Truman
Louis A. Johnson
|U.S. Secretary of Defense
Served under: Harry S. Truman
Robert A. Lovett
|Awards and achievements|
|Cover of Time Magazine
July 29, 1940
Sir Alan F. Brooke
|Cover of Time Magazine
October 19, 1942
John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort
Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow
|Cover of Time Magazine
January 3, 1944
Erich von Manstein