GEORGE CATLETT MARSHALL'S LIFE bridged the 19th and 20th centuries and encapsulated the nation's transition from wartime to peacetime through two world wars and a great economic depression. Determined to succeed in his life, Marshall studied at Virginia Military Institute and the military academy at Fort Leavenworth. His excellence in military studies and his strength of character marked him for a steady rise through the ranks of the U.S. Army. He became the Army Chief of Staff in 1939 on the day war broke out in Europe and for the next five years demonstrated a strategic brilliance that led the U.S. and its allies to victory.
His traits of honesty and candor gained the trust of millions of Americans and the respect of world leaders during his 50 years of selfless service. The Marshall Plan of 1948 rebuilt Europe after World War II, helped contain the spread of Communism, and laid the foundation for U.S. foreign policy today. After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953, Marshall died in 1959 leaving a legacy that inspires today's world leadership. The official historical record of General Marshall's funeral is published in The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funerals 1921-1969.
Timeline of George C. Marshall's Life
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