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John Adams Dix. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109924).

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Dix, John Adams (24 July 1798–21 April 1879), politician and general, was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, the son of Timothy Dix, a merchant, and Abigail Wilkins. He received a varied liberal education, including a year at Phillips Exeter Academy and fifteen months at the College of Montreal. At age fourteen, while being tutored in Boston, Dix pleaded to join the army to defend the nation in the War of 1812. His father, a major, helped him to obtain a commission, and he served in battles at Chrysler’s Field (1813) and Lundy’s Lane (1814). His father’s death during the war caused Dix to stay in the army to help support his stepmother and siblings. Serving as an aide to Major General ...

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George C. Marshall, Jr. In his Pentagon office, 1943. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105394).

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Marshall, George Catlett, Jr. (31 December 1880–16 October 1959), soldier and statesman, was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of George Catlett Marshall, Sr., a businessman distantly related to Chief Justice John Marshall, and Laura Bradford. Marshall spent an unexceptional childhood in Uniontown. In 1897 he was admitted to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, where he first exhibited his leadership abilities and was selected first corporal, sergeant, and captain of the cadets. Soon after graduation in 1901 he applied for and on 2 February 1902 received a commission in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. Nine days later he married Elizabeth Carter Coles. They remained happily married until her death in 1927 but had no children....

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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. [left to right] Kermit Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., on a hunting expedition, 1926. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90550).

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Roosevelt, Theodore, Jr. (13 September 1887–12 July 1944), public official and military officer, was born in Oyster Bay, New York, the son of Theodore Roosevelt, twenty-sixth president of the United States, and Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt. He grew up in the shadow of his presidential father, who pushed his son toward ever greater accomplishments. He entered Harvard University in 1905 and graduated in 1908. Two years later he married Eleanor Alexander; they had three sons and a daughter....