Known as the "GI general' due to his concern for the welfare of ordinary
soldiers, he earned a sterling reputation for his handling of large forces in battle.
Bradley was from Clark, Missouri. His father had died
when he was 14, and his mother, a seamstress, could barely feed him. Getting into West
Point was a triumph for Bradley. He sat out World War I in the States, but advanced
rapidly during World War II to become the highest-ranking American commander after
Eisenhower. Bradley led the long-awaited American assault on D-Day and assumed
command of 1.3 million troops, the largest combat force in military history.
In 1949 he became the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1953. During that time, he
became the last 5-star general, and the only 5-star general besides Dwight D. Eisenhower.