Biographical Sketch of George
at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on December 31, 1880, George C. Marshall
graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1901. He was
commissioned a Second Lieutenant the following year. On September
1, 1939, he was promoted to Chief of Staff with the rank of General.
He was named General of the Army on December 16, 1944.
He died on October 16, 1959, and was buried in Arlington National
As Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army before and during World War
II, Marshall earned a great share of the responsibility for the
Allied victory. He helped plan, train and deploy ten million American
soldiers and airmen, managing also the scientific development
and procurement of the ever-increasingly complex weapons.
After a few days of retirement following World War II, Marshall
was called upon by the President to help manage the crucial problems
of waging peace. As Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, he was
the personal architect of the American diplomatic and economic
program which turned the tide of Communism in war-ravaged Western
Europe. This program came everywhere to be known as the "Marshall
Plan" and led to the coalition of free nations under the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), paving the way for
a revitalized Europe. For this, Marshall received the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1953.
Serving a brief tour as President of the American National Red
Cross (1949-50), Marshall was recalled to his country's service
as Secretary of Defense from September 1950 to September 1951.
Contemporaries described Marshall as a humble man, whose brilliance
stemmed from dedication and hard work during his entire lifetime.
Many referred to Marshall as a modest and thoughtful man and attributed
such characteristics to his decision not to write his memoirs.
Marshall's wartime experience enabled him to appreciate the problems
of peace stemming from the impact of scientific and technological
developments. Thus Eisenhower decided to designate the new NASA
facilities in Huntsville as the George C. Marshall Space Flight
As part of the dedication ceremonies for the new Marshall Center,
a bust of General Marshall was unveiled by Mrs. Marshall and President
Eisenhower. Today, the bust, created by sculptor, Kalervo Kallio,
is still on display at the Center. In 1989 one of the general’s
five-star insignias was presented to the Center after it was flown
aboard the Space Shuttle.