Dwight David Eisenhower commanded the liberation force of Western Europe as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied powers during the World War II. He helped end the War in Europe and go on to be speculated as a potential presidential candidate. Nobody knew whether Eisenhower, aka Ike, was a Democrat or a Republican. President Harry Truman offered to be Ike's vice president if he wanted the Democratic nomination. Fear of the isolationist wing of the Republican Party from resurfacing and the understanding that the United States needed to play a role on the post-World War II stage, which after hostilities ended a cold war began. Also Ike had grown disdain of the Democratic Party, which had been in power (executive and legislative) since 1932 (with the exception of the 80th Congress from 1947-1949) and revealed he was a Republican.
He won the nomination in 1952 after defeating the non-interventionist wing of the party represented in a presidential grandson, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. To appease the conservative wing of the party, Ike selected Richard Nixon of California. Nixon brought 39 years to the ticket (he'd be 40 by inauguration) to Ike's 62, and anti-communist fighting spirit that was popular in the early days of the Cold War. Nixon fought commies!
Ike chose to run for reelection and kept Nixon on the ticket in 1956. Just as in 1952, the Democrats put Governor Adlai Stevenson from Illinois up against Ike in '56 and he lost. Ike would leave the presidency a popular president, but his popularity didn't help his vice president win the 1960 election...although it was a close one. Ike would go on to see Nixon sworn in as the 37th POTUS the same year he passed away.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
January 20, 1953-January 20, 1953