Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower was the wife of the 34th President of the United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her outgoing manner, feminine love of pretty clothes and jewelry, and obvious pride in husband and home made her a very popular First Lady.
Mamie was born in Boone, Iowa and named, in part, after the popular song Lovely Lake Geneva. Mamie Geneva Doud was the second child born to John Sheldon Doud, a meatpacking executive, and his wife, the former Elivera Mathilde Carlson. She grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, and the Doud winter home in San Antonio, Texas. Her father, who retired at age 36, ran a meatpacking company founded by his father, Doud & Montgomery ("Buyers of Live Hogs"), and had investments in Illinois and Iowa stockyards. Her mother was a daughter of Swedish immigrants. Mamie had three sisters: Eleanor Carlson Doud, Eda Mae Doud, and Mabel Frances "Mike" Doud.
Mamie completed her education at Miss Wolcott's finishing school.
During World War II, while promotion and fame came to "Ike," his wife lived in Washington. After he became president of Columbia University in 1948, the Eisenhowers purchased a farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the first home they had ever owned. His duties as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces - and hers as his hostess at a chateau near Paris - delayed work on their dream home, finally completed in 1955. They celebrated with a housewarming picnic for the staff from their last temporary quarters: the White House.
When Eisenhower had campaigned for President, his wife cheerfully shared his travels; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people warmly welcomed her as First Lady. Diplomacy - and air travel - in the postwar world brought changes in their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments, and Mamie's evident enjoyment of her role endeared her to her guests and to the public.