Author

Kay Summersby

Kay Summersby books and biography

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Eisenhower Was My Boss


By Kay Summersby
American Presidents

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Kay Summersby

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Kay Summersby or Kay Summersby Morgan (1908–1975), was born in County Cork, Ireland. She was the chauffeur of General Dwight David Eisenhower, who was then serving as Commander of the European Theatre. She described her father, a retired Lt. Colonel of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, as black Irish and her mother as English. When Britain entered the Second World War in 1939, Summersby joined the British Mechanised Transport Corps (MTC). When the United States joined the Allies after the German declaration of war, Summersby was one of many MTC drivers assigned as chauffeurs to high ranking American military officers. Her divorce from her husband was finalized while she was working for Eisenhower in Algiers. She was then engaged to another military man but he was killed by a landmine sometime in 1943.

Eisenhower Was My Boss, Summersby's 1948 memoir of the war years, makes no mention of any "affair" with Eisenhower, but her 1976 autobiography suggests that it was common knowledge in wartime London and Washington. The "autobiography" was ghost-written by Barbara Wyden whilst Summersby was dying of cancer (David, 1981). Persons close to Eisenhower, however, have maintained that the "affair" — which by her ghost-writer's account consisted of unsuccessful attempts to have intercourse, was strictly a fantasy on the part of the ghostwriter and publisher. Kay and Ike were extremely close, seen together in many press photographs during the War and (as evidenced by letters between the two) the woman was not well liked by Eisenhower's wife.

Former President Harry S. Truman reportedly told Merle Miller that in 1945 Eisenhower asked permission from General George Marshall to divorce his wife to marry Summersby, but permission was refused. Truman also said he had the correspondence between Marshall and Eisenhower retrieved from the Army archives and destroyed. (Miller, 1974). Some historians conclude that Truman misremembered, and that Eisenhower had asked permission to bring his wife over to live with him. Others have speculated that the incident was a fabrication on Truman's part, arising out of his antipathy to Eisenhower which heightened considerably during the latter's presidency.[citation needed]

Further reading

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect 1890-1952 (1983).
  • Miller, Merle Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974) Putnam Publishing Group. ISBN 0-399-11261-8. London: Gollancz Ltd. (1974) ISBN 0-575-01841-0;Reprint (2005) by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN 1-57912-437-2
  • David, Lester & Irene David Ike & Mamie, The Story of the General and his Lady (1981) Academic Press. ISBN 0-399-12644-9
  • Morgan, Kay Summersby Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1976.
  • Summersby, Kay Eisenhower Was My Boss (1948) New York: Prentice Hall; (1949) Dell paperback
  • http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,775637,00.html It's nice getting back Time, May 28, 1945 (Ike danced with Kay).
  • http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,780022,00.html Kay's War Time, September 27, 1948
  • http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2002/nr02-09.html Summersby's wartime diaries
  • http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/trumanl.htm


This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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