Childhood and Education
Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas. His given name was David Dwight, but he was always called Dwight. At some point, probably when he went to West Point, the order of his first two names was reversed. His nickname was Ike.
As an infant, Eisenhower moved to Abilene, Kansas. His father, David Jacob Eisenhower, was a mechanic. His family was poor and he helped out by working odd jobs to make extra money. He attended local public schools and graduated from high school in 1909.
Despite the fact that his mother, Ida Elizabeth Stover, was a deeply religious pacifist, Eisenhower decided to join the military to gain a free college education. He went to West Point from 1911 to 1915. He was commissioned a second lieutenant but continued his education in the military, eventually attending the Army War College.