Charles Erwin Wilson

Charles Erwin Wilson

Secretary of Defence
Born Jul 18, 1890

Charles Erwin Wilson, American businessman and politician, was United States Secretary of Defense from 1953 to 1957 under President Eisenhower. Known as "Engine Charlie", he previously worked as CEO for General Motors. In the wake of the Korean War, he cut the defense budget significantly.… Read More

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1890 Birth Born on July 18, 1890.


1909 18 Years Old Wilson was born in Minerva, Ohio. After earning a degree in electrical engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1909, he joined the Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, where eventually he supervised the engineering of automobile electrical equipment, and during World War I, the development of dynamotors and radio generators for the Army and Navy.


1912 21 Years Old Wilson married Jessie Ann Curtis on September 11, 1912. … Read More
1919 28 Years Old In 1919, Wilson moved to Remy Electric, a General Motors subsidiary, as chief engineer and sales manager.


1941 50 Years Old By January 1941 he was the president of General Motors.
1946 55 Years Old During World War II, Wilson directed the company's huge defense production effort, which earned him a Medal for Merit in 1946.


He was still head of General Motors when President Eisenhower selected him as Secretary of Defense in January 1953. … Read More
Eisenhower formally presented the New Look in his State of the Union message in January 1954 and Secretary Wilson helped to explain it. … Read More
1955 64 Years Old Both General Ridgway, who retired as Army chief of staff in June 1955, and his successor, General Maxwell D. Taylor, believed that the Army was receiving too small a share of the military budget. … Read More
1956 65 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He noted in his semi-annual report at the end of FY 1956 that the services, which had eight categories of guided missiles available for various tasks, could not agree on their respective roles and missions in relation to these and other planned missile systems. … Read More
Although Wilson tried for years to correct the misquote, he was reported at the time of his retirement in 1957 to have accepted the popular impression.
1961 71 Years Old Died on September 26, 1961.
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