Douglas Macarthur



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Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880 on an army base in Little Rock, Arkansas, to U. S. Army Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur. He was also the grandson of the judge and politician, Arthur MacArthur, Sr. Douglas mac Arthur spent his entire life connected to the military in some manner.

After graduating from West Point in 1903, Douglas MacArthur was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the army, assigned to the Philippines, an appointment that began a military career spanning over fifty years of service. Douglas MacArthur became one of the most decorated of all military heroes, the youngest brigadier general in history and the first public relations officer of the army. His various assignments took him across the globe during war and peace.

Douglas MacArthur quickly rose through the military ranks, becoming general and army chief of staff by 1935, only thirty-two years after graduating from West Point, where he returned to serve as superintendent from 1919-1922. In 1932, Douglas MacArthur commanded the army troops that evicted the Bonus Army settlement from Washington, D.C. under presidential orders; in 1937, he assumed command of the Philippine military operations at the request of the president. When the U.S. entered World War II, Douglas MacArthur was recalled to active service, leading the allied U.S. and Philippine forces in opposition to Japan. While stationed in Australia, MacArthur was commander of the U.S. forces in the South Pacific, responsible for the recapturing of many islands that had been taken over by Japanese forces. On September 2, 1945, it was then General MacArthur who accepted the Japanese surrender, ending World War II. After the war ended, Douglas MacArthur was Allied Commander, responsible for the postwar occupation and rebuilding of Japan from 1945 until 1951. MacArthur directed the economic recovery and assisted in implementing a democracy in Japan.

As commander of the United Nations forces during the Korean War in 1950, MacArthur asked President Harry Truman for permission to bomb China, which the president rejected. General MacArthur made the dispute public, so Truman relieved the military hero of his command for insubordination. Douglas MacArthur, however, returned to the United States with a hero's welcome in 1951. It was the first time he had returned home since 1937, and it was the first time his son, Arthur MacArthur IV, ever saw America.

Douglas MacArthur married twice, first to socialite Louise Brooks in 1922, whom he divorced in 1929, and then in 1937 to Jean Faircloth, eighteen years his junior and mother of his only child, Arthur. Douglas and Jean MacArthur spent their last years in New York City, living in the penthouse of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. In 1952, MacArthur was considered as a presidential candidate, but Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected instead. MacArthur was often used in a consulting role by presidents and military leaders, including President John F. Kennedy during the Bay of Pigs crises and Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam era.

On April 5, 1964, at the age of 84, General Douglas MacArthur died of cirrhosis at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D. C. After a funeral of great pomp and circumstance, MacArthur was interred in Norfolk, Virginia at the MacArthur Memorial.