Photos of George Marshall
Several visitors have mentioned that it seems George Marshall never smiled in photos. He didn’t enjoy posing for the camera from his early years; he didn’t smile for portraits even as a cadet at VMI.
His dislike of portrait photography may be why his four-star portrait is a photoshop of his one-star portrait.
Let’s face it, his years as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army were grim – fighting a two-theater war spanning the globe. When he visited training posts, he focused on the soldiers; the seriousness of the situation reflected in his face.
In the many conferences he attended, Marshall was working for peace in Europe. Plenary sessions were fraught with difficulties and doubtless exhausting.
An Army Signal Corps photographer noted later that “the General was rather modest about having his picture taken and never cared to pose.”
Marshall did smile, though, and sometimes the camera caught it. His smiles seem to be connected to certain people and activities.
Most of his smiles were connected to his family – Katherine, her children and the grandchildren.
He especially enjoyed spending time with children, and they always brought out a smile.
Some smiles were the result of activities such as fishing and gardening.
A few smiles were displayed talking with people he apparently enjoyed working with.
And then there’s this cheese-eating grin from the Secretary of State while testifying to a Senate budget committee. I would love to know what conversation preceded this!
Before becoming director of library and archives at the George C. Marshall Foundation, Melissa was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with three large rescue dogs. Melissa is known as the happiest librarian in the world! Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.