Which U.S. President played football at West Point?

Which U.S. President played football at West Point?

A 1915 graduate of U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Dwight D. Eisenhower was a promising halfback cadet for Army before becoming a five-star general and the 34th President of the United States.

Though his first choice was to enroll at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Eisenhower became a standout football player at West Point for two seasons until one of the best football players in history broke his leg. (Though he passed the exams for the Naval Academy, Eisenhower was beyond the 20-year age limit for admittance.)

On November 9, 1912, Jim Thorpe and his Carlisle Indians played Eisenhower’s Cadets at West Point. The outcome was the worst it could be for the future president. Not only did the Indians steamroll Army 27-6, but Eisenhower broke his leg trying to tackle Thorpe. Adding insult to injury, Eisenhower was nearly expelled for medical reasons due to his fractured leg after he broke it a second time horseback riding.

Known as the “Kansas Cyclone” for his speed, Eisenhower played both ways in football at running back and linebacker. The President also played baseball at West Point.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (third from left) and Omar Bradley (extreme right) are shown in the line-up with part of the West Point Military Academy Football Team. Eisenhower and Bradley, who became General of the Army in 1950, both graduated from West Point in 1915. Credit Corbis / Public Domain








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