Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006

George Marshall: 1943, 1947

Credited with reorganizing the American military program because of his assertion that the country was not ready for war, Marshall was called upon to advise in two presidential Cabinets. Said TIME in naming him its Man of the Year for 1943: "He is regarded as the man, more than any other, who could be said to have armed the Republic as he oversaw the growth of the U.S. Army personnel from under 200,000 to over 8 million.

What is paradoxical is the fact that General Marshall hates war. The secret is that American democracy is the stuff Marshall is made of. Hired by the U.S. people to do a job, he was as good, as ruthless, as tough, as the job requires. There his ambitions stop. 'He has only one interest,' said one of his intimates, 'to win this damned war as quick as he can, with the fewest lives lost and money expended, and get the hell down to Leesburg, Va., and enjoy life.'"

Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center