JOHN J. PERSHING Biography - Military related figures


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Name: John Joseph Pershing                                                             
Born: 13 September 1860 Laclede, Missouri                                             
Died: 15 July 1948 Washington, D.C.                                                   
Nickname Black Jack                                                                   
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing GCB (September 13, 1860 - July 15, 1948) was         
an officer in the United States Army. Pershing is the only person, while still         
alive, to rise to the highest rank ever held in the United States Army General         
of the Armies equivalent only to the posthumous rank of George Washington.             
Pershing led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and was regarded as       
a mentor by the generation of American generals who led the United States Army         
in Europe during World War II, including George C. Marshall, Dwight D.                 
Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George S. Patton.                                         
John J. Pershing,was born on a farm near Laclede, Missouri. His father, John F.       
Pershing, was a businessman who owned a general store. When the Civil War began,       
he worked as a sutler for the 18th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment, but did       
not serve in the military.                                                             
John J. Pershing attended a school in Laclede that was reserved for the more           
intelligent children who were children of high profile citizens. As Pershing's         
father was well known in Laclede, Pershing and his brother attended this early         
form of university preparatory school.                                                 
Upon graduation from secondary school in 1878, Pershing became a local teacher         
and became involved with educating local African American children. In this way,       
although living in an atmosphere of 19th century United States racism, Pershing       
developed an understanding of racial issues that would later come to play in his       
military career when he commanded a racially diverse unit of soldiers.                 
Between 1880 and 1882, Pershing attended the North Missouri Normal School (now         
Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri. In 1882, he applied to the U.S.     
Military Academy after hearing that West Point offered excellent college level         
education. Pershing later admitted that a desire to serve in military was             
secondary to attending West Point and that he mainly applied to the school             
because the education offered was better than that of rural Missouri.