Mamie Geneva Doud was born with a rheumatic heart, and her older sister had asthma. In an effort to improve the girls’ health, their father moved the family from Iowa and eventually settled in Denver in 1905.
After completing her education at Denver’s Miss Wolcott School for Girls in 1915, she met Second Lieutenant Dwight Eisenhower, who was stationed at Fort Sam Houston. They were married in 1916 at the Doud’s Denver home. She survived the nomadic life of a military wife with grace and dignity while her husband was stationed at various posts in the United States, the Panama Canal Zone, France and the Phillippines. Eisenhower was the mother of two sons, one of whom lived to adulthood. During World War II, Eisenhower lived in Washington, D.C.
As first lady, she supported many important causes and made the position productive and meaningful. On one of her later appearances, on July 8, 1963, she dedicated the Mamie Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado, and presented it with 337 volumes from her father’s personal library. She is buried next to her husband at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.
Eisenhower was a gracious hostess who guarded her privacy. She supported many causes, including the American Heart Association and affordable housing and health care for Army widows. In 1961, the Eisenhowers retired to their Gettysburg farm in Pennsylvania. On July 8, 1963, Eisenhower dedicated the Mamie Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado. She is buried next to her husband at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.