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General Douglas MacArthur and his mother, Pinky

“Overparenting had been around long before Douglas MacArthur’s mom Pinky moved with him to West Point in 1899 and took an apartment near the campus, supposedly so she could watch him with a telescope to be sure he was studying.” (1)

Prior to his acceptance at West Point in 1898, Douglas MacArthur had been rejected twice due to curvature of the spine. Once he was finally accepted, his mom Pinky was not about to let him flunk out. She packed her bags, left her family in San Antonio, Texas (where her husband, also a military man, was stationed), moved across the country, and checked into a hotel suite overlooking the West Point Academy grounds forty miles north of distant New York CityPinky MacArthur was determined that her son would be a success. (Her middle son had died six years earlier.)

MacArthur did not disappoint his mother. In 1903, he graduated first in his class of 93. Brig. General Douglas MacArthur then went on to become superintendent of West Point in 1922.

U.S. General Douglas MacArthur smoking his corncob pipe

Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) continued his meteoric rise in service to his country. He fought in three major wars – World War I, World War II, Korean War – and was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army. For his leadership in the defense of the Philippines in World War II, he  was awarded the Medal of Honor –  a decoration for which he had twice previously been nominated. Allied forces under General MacArthur’s strategic command brought about the surrender of Japan. (3)

To see the full list of MacArthur’s decorations, click here.

Good job, Pinky!

(1) “The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting,” Time, November 20, 2009.

(2) “Memorial Day Memory: General Douglas MacArthur

(3) “Douglas MacArthur,” wikipedia

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