George C. Marshall was, according to one expert observer, the "perfect" soldier. Endowed with a quick mind, a good memory, and a superb sense of strategy, he did not particularly relish war. Yet as chief of staff during World War II, he proved to be a masterful orchestrator of military mobilization. In 1945 President Harry Truman remarked that millions of Americans had served the country well in that conflict, but it had been Marshall who "gave it victory." As capable in peace as in wartime, Marshall later became Truman's secretary of state, and it was he who unveiled in 1947 the American aid program for rebuilding Europe's war-ravaged economies. Ultimately named the Marshall Plan, this venture became one of the greatest triumphs in the entire history of American diplomacy.


  • Title: George C. Marshall
  • Creator: Thomas Edgar Stephens
  • Date Created: c. 1949
  • Physical Dimensions: w101.5 x h127 cm
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of Ailsa Mellon Bruce, 1951
  • External Link: https://npg.si.edu/portraits
  • Classification: Painting

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