Charles Erwin Wilson
American secretary of Defence
Charles Erwin Wilson
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.
Biography
Charles Erwin Wilson's personal information overview.
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Maintaining success after exit of charismatic CEO - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
General Electric has produced a string of successful successors to founder Thomas Edison including Charles Coffin, Charles Wilson, Reginald Jones and Jack Welch. "Each in his time was regarded as a giant," says Joseph Bower, a Harvard Business School
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David Wilson - Wheeling News Register
Google News - over 5 years
He was born November 9, 1955, in Wheeling, W.Va., to the late Charles Wilson and G. Louise Butler Wilson Taylor. He is survived by one son, David Dawson, of Charleston, W.Va., two sisters, Charlotte Chaney of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Rebecca Walters of
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Mid*Week In Manchester Antiques Show Celebrates 18 Years - Antiques and Arts Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
West Chester, Penn., dealer Charles Wilson, who has had countless hitching posts during his time in the antiques business, came up with one that was new to him — "Never seen one like it before," he said — a full bodied owl in old green paint,
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Give more support to our troops - Isle of Man Today
Google News - over 5 years
Major Charles Wilson, honorary colonel with the Isle of Man Cadet Force, has written to all MHKs and MLCs suggesting the island follows the UK's Military Covenant model. 'My concern centres on the lack of a formal structure for armed services support,'
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East Texas firefighters rescue llama stuck in pond - Houston Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Lt. Charles Wilson says a passer-by reported seeing the animal in water up to its neck. Wilson says the 250-pound llama apparently got stuck Thursday, a day when temperatures topped 100 degrees. Employees of the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler helped ease the
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Indiana State Fair severe weather plan just 1 page - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
An emergency plan outlining what to do if severe weather threatens the Indiana State Fair takes up a single page and does not mention the potential for evacuations. Most of the guidelines suggest language for PA
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Sci-fi Spin trilogy comes to a brilliant close - Globe and Mail
Google News - over 5 years
In Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, a stunningly good work of science fiction, his characters quote Heraclitus as they ponder the apocalypse. First the stars blink out of the sky. Then humans learn that a race of techno-gods, the elusive “hypotheticals,”
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DNA evidence clears man initially linked to attacks on 2 joggers - Austin American-Statesman
Google News - over 5 years
"What we're looking at is these victims had someone else's DNA profile on them, and it does not come back to Charles Wilson," Eveleth said. "Statistically, it is more than likely the same person, but not Charles Wilson." After the attacks, a composite
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Fisk: Why I had to leave The Times - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
When he died, of cancer, it was announced that his deputy, Charles Wilson, would edit the paper. Murdoch said that Wilson was "Charlie's choice" and I thought, so, all well and good – until I was chatting to Charlie's widow and she told me that it was
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Police Arrest Accomplice in Super Convenience Store Murder - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Police say that Maurice Dixon, of 38 Hillfarm Rd., Bloomfield, drove Charles Wilson to the Super Convenience Store that night for an attempted robbery, then waited to drive Wilson away after the shooting. Dixon is charged with felony murder and
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Charles Wilson fully deserves his share of Booker - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
When Charles Wilson left Marks & Spencer in 2005 to join the highly-indebted, privately-owned Booker, the cash-and-carry business of literary prize frame, Sir Philip Green was moved to liken the swap to leaving AC Milan for Scunthorpe
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2 guys open Five Guys Burgers downtown - Chattanooga Times Free Press
Google News - over 5 years
Ronnie Womack, left, and Charles Wilson install part of the frame for countertops at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at the corner of Fourth Street and Broad Street downtown. • Location: Opening new location at Fourth and Broad,
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Give Me a Break, School Trustee Tells Texas - Courthouse News Service
Google News - over 5 years
Mrs. Charles Wilson claims the Marshall Independent School District reprimanded her on a trumped-up charge that "characterized (her) presence in the superintendent's office on school board business as 'unauthorized access
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Indiana elections chief says he didn't lie - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Google News - over 5 years
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White speaks an interview at his home in Fishers, Ind., Saturday, June 18, 2011. Testimony that Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White gives to a state panel weighing whether he should remain in
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Hartford Man Charged in Super Convenience Store Murder - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
An 18-year old Hartford man, Charles Wilson, already facing murder charges in Hartford, was charged Tuesday with the May 22 killing of a convenience store clerk. By David Moran | Email the author | June 21, 2011 Charles Wilson, an 18-year old Hartford
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Charles Erwin Wilson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1961
    Age 70
    Died on September 26, 1961.
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  • 1957
    Age 66
    On March 18, 1957 Wilson issued a directive to clarify his earlier decisions on the Army-Air Force use of aircraft for tactical purposes.
    More Details Hide Details He made no major changes from the previous division of responsibility; rather, he provided a more detailed and specific listing of those functional areas for which the Army could procure its own aircraft and those for which it would rely on the Air Force.
    On October 9, 1957, Eisenhower presented Wilson with the Medal of Freedom.
    More Details Hide Details While serving as Secretary of Defense, Wilson enacted stronger rules against human medical experimentation. The 1953 Wilson Memo led the military to adopt the Nuremberg Code: Patients would have to provide written, informed consent. Wilson wrote that "By reason of the basic medical responsibility in connection with the development of defense of all types against atomic, biological and/or chemical warfare agents, Armed Services personnel and/or civilians on duty at installations engaged in such research shall be permitted to actively participate in all phases of the program." Jonathan Moreno and Susan Lederer wrote in a 1996 issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal that the Wilson Memo remained classified until 1975, limiting its availability to researchers. They found the Air Force and Army tried to implement the rules, but found spotty compliance in actual Pentagon research. After he left the Pentagon, Wilson returned to Michigan, where he devoted his time to business and family affairs. He died in Norwood, Louisiana, and was interred at the Acacia Park Cemetery, a Masonic cemetery located in Beverly Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.
    Wilson indicated his intention to retire from office shortly after the start of the second Eisenhower term and left on October 8, 1957.
    More Details Hide Details Eisenhower noted when Wilson stepped down that under him "the strength of our security forces has not only been maintained but has been significantly increased" and that he had managed the Defense Department "in a manner consistent with the requirements of a strong, healthy national economy".
    Wilson, a folksy, honest, and outspoken man, sometimes got into trouble because of casual remarks. In January 1957, for example, he referred to enlistees in the National Guard during the Korean War as "draft dodgers".
    More Details Hide Details This caused a storm of protest and even brought a rebuke from the president, who said he thought Wilson had made "a very... unwise statement, without stopping to think what it meant". On another occasion, Wilson jokingly referred to the White House as a "dung hill", generating further controversy. These episodes should not detract from recognition of Wilson's determined efforts to run the Department of Defense efficiently and to maintain the nation's security forces within reasonable budget guidelines.
    When asked in 1957 about persistent demands for further unification, Wilson responded, "It's an oversimplification in the false hope that you could thus wash out the problems if you put the people all in the same uniform and that then they wouldn't disagree over what should be done.
    More Details Hide Details Of course, they would."
    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.
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  • 1956
    Age 65
    Although Wilson found it necessary to clarify service roles and missions, he did not press for extensive further unification of the armed forces. He established in February 1956 an office of special assistant to the secretary of defense for guided missiles but made few other changes after implementation of Reorganization Plan No. 6 in 1953.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details Also at issue were aircraft types for the individual services and Air Force tactical support for the Army. To address these and other nagging questions, Wilson issued two important documents. The first, a memorandum to members of the Armed Forces Policy Council on November 26, 1956, dealt with five points of contention. First, Wilson limited the Army to small aircraft with specifically defined functions within combat zones. On the matter of airlift adequacy, which the Army questioned, the secretary declared current Air Force practices acceptable. As to air defense, the Army received responsibility for point defense of specified geographical areas, vital installations, and cities; the Air Force became responsible for area defense and the interception of enemy attacks away from individual vital installations; and the Navy could maintain ship-based air defense weapon systems. Wilson assigned to the Air Force primary responsibility for tactical support for the Army, although the Army could use surface-to-surface missiles for close support of its field operations. Finally, the secretary gave the Air Force sole authority to operate land-based intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) systems and the Navy the same responsibility for ship-based IRBMs. He enjoined the Army from planning operational employment of missiles with ranges beyond.
  • 1955
    Age 64
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Its standing threatened by the New Look, the Army questioned the wisdom of reliance on "massive retaliation" and strategic air power to the neglect of other force elements. Secretary Wilson reportedly observed that the United States "can't afford to fight limited wars. We can only afford to fight a big war, and if there is one, that is the kind it will be." But by 1955 the Army, and later in the decade the Navy, departed from their emphasis on preparation for total war by urging the need to prepare for limited war, non-global conflicts restricted in geographical area, force size, and weapons (although tactical nuclear weapons were not ruled out). Generals Ridgway and Taylor stressed the need to have a variety of forces available and equipped to fight different kinds of war from a local non-nuclear war to a global strategic nuclear conflict. They rejected the notion that limited wars would occur only in less developed areas and argued that such conflicts might occur in the NATO region as well.
  • 1954
    Age 63
    Especially after 1954, when the Democrats regained control of Congress, the Wilson-Eisenhower effort to curb defense expenditures provoked growing criticism.
    More Details Hide Details The Air Force, even though the New Look enhanced its role, opposed the decision to cut back from the Truman goal of 143 wings, and its congressional supporters tried repeatedly, sometimes successfully, to appropriate more money for air power than the administration wanted. The other services, especially the Army, objected to force reductions ordained by the New Look.
    In his first annual report, he noted that the service secretaries were his principal assistants; decentralizing operational responsibility to them would make for effective exercise of civilian authority throughout DoD. In July 1954, to complement the 1953 reorganization, Wilson issued a directive to the JCS, the most important provision of which stated that "the Joint Staff work of each of the Chiefs of Staff shall take priority over all other duties", namely their tasks as chiefs of individual services.
    More Details Hide Details The directive also clarified the role of the JCS chairman and his authority over the Joint Staff while making clear that assignment of major tasks to the Joint Staff was the prerogative of the full JCS. Internal reorganization was only one of several major changes during Wilson's tenure, foremost among them the "New Look" defense concept. Eisenhower had criticized the Truman policies during the 1952 campaign, arguing that they were reactive rather than positive and that they forced the United States to compete with the Soviet Union on terms laid down by the Soviets. The president entered office with strong convictions about the need to reorient the nation's security policy, convictions reflecting his interest in maintaining a staunch defense while cutting government expenditures and balancing the budget.
    Eisenhower formally presented the New Look in his State of the Union message in January 1954 and Secretary Wilson helped to explain it.
    More Details Hide Details More defense for less money was possible, he said. With new weapons and techniques and ready reserves of troops and materiel, the United States could support capable military forces within budget allocations that Congress was willing to provide. The major features of the New Look included (1) greater reliance on nuclear weapons, using the advantage the United States had over the Soviet Union in such weapons; (2) elevation of strategic air power, the major means to deliver nuclear weapons, to a more important position (not an expansion in the number of Air Force wings but rather development and production of better equipment); (3) cuts in conventional ground forces, based both on reliance on strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and the expectation that U.S. allies would provide ground troops for their own defense; (4) an expanded program of continental defense, which, along with strategic air power, would serve as a principal ingredient of the New Look's deterrence program; and (5) modernization and enlargement of reserve forces, enhancing the military manpower base while reducing active duty forces.
  • 1953
    Age 62
    The president inaugurated planning for the New Look in July 1953 by asking the incoming members of the JCS (Admiral Arthur W. Radford, chairman; General Matthew B. Ridgway, Army chief of staff; General Nathan F. Twining, Air Force chief of staff; and Admiral Robert B. Carney, chief of naval operations) to prepare a paper on overall defense policy.
    More Details Hide Details Although the JCS paper did not recommend any fundamental changes, the National Security Council in October 1953 adopted a key tenet of the New Look that a large-scale limited war or a general war would likely be fought with nuclear weapons.
    Wilson welcomed the reorganization plan, which became effective on June 30, 1953, as facilitating more efficient management of the Department of Defense.
    More Details Hide Details He looked on the assistant secretaries as his "vice presidents" and tried to run the Pentagon like an industrial corporation. Wilson took advantage of the reorganization to decentralize administration, giving the service secretaries more responsibility and importance.
    He was still head of General Motors when President Eisenhower selected him as Secretary of Defense in January 1953.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson's nomination sparked a controversy that erupted during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, based on his large stockholdings in General Motors. Reluctant to sell the stock, valued at the time at more than $2.5 million, Wilson agreed to do so under committee pressure. During the hearings, when asked if he could make a decision as Secretary of Defense that would be adverse to the interests of General Motors, Wilson answered affirmatively. But he added that he could not conceive of such a situation "because for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa". This statement has frequently been misquoted as "What's good for General Motors is good for the country".
  • FIFTIES
  • 1946
    Age 55
    During World War II, Wilson directed the company's huge defense production effort, which earned him a Medal for Merit in 1946.
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  • 1941
    Age 50
    By January 1941 he was the president of General Motors.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1919
    Age 28
    In 1919, Wilson moved to Remy Electric, a General Motors subsidiary, as chief engineer and sales manager.
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  • 1912
    Age 21
    Wilson married Jessie Ann Curtis on September 11, 1912.
    More Details Hide Details They had five children.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1909
    Age 18
    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.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1890
    Born
    Born on July 18, 1890.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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