Douglas MacArthur Biography

Douglas MacArthur was an American general and Chief of Staff of the United States Army. Read this biography to learn more about his childhood, life, achievements and timeline.

Douglas MacArthur
Quick Facts

Nick Name: Gaijin Shogun

Birthday: January 26, 1880

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Douglas MacArthur Military Leaders

Died At Age: 84

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Born in: Little Rock

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Henrietta Louise Cromwell Brook MacArthur (m. 1922–1929), Jean MacArthur (m. 1937–1964)

father: Arthur MacArthur Jr.

mother: Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur

siblings: Arthur MacArthur III, Malcolm MacArthur

Died on: April 5, 1964

place of death: Washington, D.C.

Personality: ESTP

U.S. State: Arkansas

More Facts

education: United States Military Academy, TMI — The Episcopal School of Texas

awards: Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal
Purple Heart
Complete list

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Douglas MacArthur was an iconic figure in American military history and is till date, revered as a symbol of military excellence. Often popularly known as the ‘American Caesar’, MacArthur was one of the greatest war heroes of the United States of America. He served in the World War I, World War II, and Korean War and played a crucial role in The Pacific War. Born to a U.S. Army captain, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., he graduated as a top-ranking cadet from the United States Military Academy and began his career in the Army Corps of Engineers. A brilliant military strategist, MacArthur earned more than 100 military decorations both in the U.S and internationally in his lifetime. Some of his momentous decorations include, Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath from Australia, the French Légion d'honneur and Croix de guerre and the Order of the Crown of Italy. He served as the General of the U.S. Army, Field Marshall of the Philippine Army and as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

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Douglas MacArthur
Childhood & Early Life
  • Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S. to an Army captain, Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur. He had two elder siblings.
  • In 1889, his family relocated to Washington D.C, where he attended the Force Public School. Four years later, his father was assigned to work in San Antonio, Texas and he enrolled at the West Texas Military Academy.
  • On June 13, 1899, he joined the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was one of the top-ranking cadets who graduated with honours.
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Career
  • In October 1903, he was appointed as a junior officer in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He was sent to Philippines as a part of the 3rd Engineer Battalion. Soon he was promoted as Second Lieutenant.
  • In 1904, his duty was cut short after he fell ill with malaria and dhobie itch, while he was on a survey in Bataan, Philippines. He later went to San Francisco, where he was appointed to work in the California Debris Commission.
  • In 1905, he was appointed as the Chief Engineer of the Division of the Pacific. In October the same year, he was ordered to travel to Tokyo to work as aide-de-camp to his father. In September 1906, he was ordered to report to the 2nd Engineer Battalion at the Washington Barracks.
  • In 1908, he received a posting to Fort Leavenworth on first command in Company K, 3rd engineer Battalion. Over the next two years, he became Battalion Adjutant and later Engineer Officer.
  • In 1911, he was promoted as captain and became head of the Military Engineering Department and the Field Engineer School. He was part of military activities in San Antonio, Texas and also served in Panama.
  • In 1914, he played a prominent role in the United States occupation of Veracruz, Mexico. For his relentless contribution, he was recommended as one of the contenders for the Medal of honour, but did not receive it.
  • On December 11, 1915, he was promoted to the post of a Major. The following year he was appointed as the Head of the Bureau of Information at the office of the Secretary of War.
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  • In 1917, after war was declared with Germany, he federalised the state National Guard to build the army and formed the ‘The 42nd Infantry Division’, also called ‘Rainbow’. He was the Chief of Staff and Colonel of the unit.
  • In 1918, he was promoted as a Brigadier General and commanded the 84th Infantry Brigade. He proved his military leadership capabilities in Champagne-Marne, Saintt-Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Sedan offensives.
  • In 1919, he was appointed as the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served there for a period of three years and proposed many reforms during his tenure.
  • In June 1923, he commanded the 23rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Division and played a pivotal role in putting an end to The Philippine Scout Mutiny by addressing their grievances.
  • In 1925, he became the youngest Major General in the army and commanded the IV Corps Area, but he experienced prejudice as he was the son of a Union Army officer. He was relieved off the post and later commanded the III Corps area.
  • He was appointed as the president of the American Olympic Committee and was assigned the task of preparing the U.S. team for the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.
  • In 1930, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army with the rank of a general. He developed new mobilisation plans during the Great Depression and expelled The Bonus Army, made up of war veterans who demanded cash for their service certificates.
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  • In 1935, he was made field marshal by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and sent as a military adviser to the Philippines. The President of the Philippines Manuel Quezon asked him to establish a defensive military force.
  • In 1941, the Philippine Army was federalised and he was ordered to return to duty. He commanded the U.S. troops in the Pacific. However, following a Japanese invasion, MacArthur-led forces were driven outside the Philippines. Thereafter, he launched several successful offensive operations against the Japanese military.
  • In 1942, he moved to Australia and operated from there as the Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. The Pacific War between the United States and the Empire of Japan continued.
  • In 1945, after the surrender of Japan, he exercised control as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. He helped in the reconstruction of Japan and acted as its interim leader.
  • In 1950, after the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, the United Nations Command forces were placed under his control. During this time, he did not anticipate Chinese attacks and hence was forced to retreat.
  • In April 1951, he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman, after the two clashed over war policies. He had been repeatedly contradicting government statements publicly. This did not please President Truman.
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Major Battles
  • He served during the World War I in the Western Front as a Brigadier General. He was at that time commissioned as the Chief Of Staff of the 42nd ‘Rainbow’ Division and was awarded for his distinguished services.
  • During World War II, he played a pivotal role in The Pacific War. He commanded the Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific and took over the occupation of Japan.
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Awards & Achievements
  • At the West Texas Military Academy, he was the recipient of a gold medal for ‘scholarship and deportment’.
  • He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star and Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
  • In 1962, he received the Sylvanus Thayer Award for his ‘outstanding service to the nation’.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • On February 14, 1922, he married socialite and multi-millionaire heiress Louise Cromwell Brooks. They divorced in 1929.
  • In 1937, he married his second wife, Jean Faircloth. They had a son named Arthur the next year.
  • After he was removed from the U.S Army, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand. In his later life, he was actively involved in the U.S Olympic affairs.
  • He died at the age of 84 due to biliary cirrhosis at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was given a state funeral and was finally laid to rest in the rotunda of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia.
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Trivia
  • Both he and his father were bestowed with the Medal of Honor, thus becoming the first father-son duo to have won the prestigious honor.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Douglas MacArthur Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/douglas-macarthur-1260.php
Last Updated
- January 08, 2018

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