Dwight D. Eisenhower served as president of the United States before John F. Kennedy. Eisenhower was first elected president in 1952, and he was re-elected in 1956.
Eisenhower was a five-star general during World War II, and he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. As early as 1948, Eisenhower was urged to run for political office. By 1952, Eisenhower had declared himself a Republican and defeated Senator Robert Taft for the nomination. Eisenhower was first elected president in 1952, defeating Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson. He was re-elected president in 1956, defeating Adlai Stevenson a second time.