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Dwight D. Eisenhower and Herbert Brownell

By Ann Brownell Sloane
11/10/2014 • HistoryNet Interviews Extras, Interviews, Politics

This account of Dwight David Eisenhower and Herbert Brownell was written by Brownell’s daughter, Ann Brownell Sloane.

When Ike came home in 1945, he stopped in New York City, where I then lived, and still do, to receive the key to the city and a hero’s welcome with a dazzling ticker tape parade. I was six years old. My father and mother took my sister, two brothers and me to the standing-room-only ceremony at the City Hall, where American flags and band music filled my heart, ears and eyes. I remember how my father was both excited and riveted. He pointed out the great general who planned for the defeat of Hitler and commanded the troops who did the job.

Ann Brownell Sloane
Ann Brownell Sloane
My father was in New York City, state and national politics: a one-time state legislator, a political strategist, operative and manager, most notably in Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s campaign for president in 1948. Fast-forward to February 1952, when my father flew to Paris incognito; I’ll never forget hearing that word for the first time. A secret mission. He bought us amazing gifts in Paris and returned two days later. I learned only years that he had gone to Paris to spend the day and evening with the NATO Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower, to talk about what Ike would be undertaking if he returned home to campaign for the presidency. The conversation included a point-by-point review of the general’s stance on every conceivable campaign issue and policy.

My father devised the strategy to win the 1952 Republican National Convention that selected Ike as its candidate. He returned to his law practice until September when he helped Ike through discomforting campaign matters, and then returned to the campaign as Ike’s personal campaign advisor.

Election night was an incredible experience in my young life. By now, I understood that my father and Ike had a special relationship. Amazing.

The next morning we children went to school; Daddy received a phone call and went to see Ike at the President’s House, his home at Columbia University. The next morning our parents told us that we were going to move to Washington, D.C. in January, as Daddy was to become President-elect Eisenhower’s attorney general. But first my father would accompany General Eisenhower to Korea, to fulfill Ike’s electrifying campaign promise. (Ike had promised to personally visit Korea where American and other United Nations troops were fighting a war against a communist invasion of South Korea and see the situation for himself.—Editor)

Years after serving President Eisenhower in Washington, my father, again a practicing lawyer, told me that in his adult life, he had never worked for anyone except for the president—it had been, he said, the most satisfying professional relationship of his life.

Click here to read an interview with Ann Brownell Sloane about the work of the Eisenhower Foundation in preserving the legacy and promoting the continued relevance of the life of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 

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