Forrest C. Pogue

Pogue headshot
Born in Eddyville, Kentucky, Forrest Carlisle Pogue Jr. (1912-1996) attended Murray State College in Oklahoma, received his master's degree from the University of Kentucky, and a doctorate from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1939. Pogue worked at Murray State, teaching history from June 1933 to May 1942, was drafted into the Army in 1942 and promoted to sergeant. After basic training, he was reassigned to a historical unit and made responsible for writing a history of the Second United States Army; in 1944 he was sent to England and to Normandy where he interviewed wounded soldiers over a period of eleven months; he was present at the Battle of the Bulge. For his work, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Croix de Guerre. He was discharged in October 1945, and hired as a civilian, with the pay of a colonel.

Pogue was first assigned to write a history of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force from 1945 to 1946. In July he was assigned by Dwight D. Eisenhower to write an official history of the Supreme Command in Europe, for which he interviewed Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Charles de Gaulle, Alan Brooke and others. Pogue then spent seven years as a military historian, and two years conducting operations research at United States Army Garrison Heidelberg with the Operations Research Office at Johns Hopkins University. He contributed to
The Meaning of Yalta among several other books, returning to Murray State in 1954.

In 1956, Pogue was hired by the George C. Marshall Foundation to write the official
biography of George C. Marshall in four volumes on which he worked from 1963 to 1987. He became director of the Marshall Foundation in 1956, leaving in 1974 to become director of the Eisenhower Institute for Historical Research. Pogue retired in 1984. He served as a guest lecturer at George Washington University and the United States Army War College, held the Mary Moody Northen chair in Arts and Sciences at Virginia Military Institute in 1972. Pogue was on the Advisory boards for the Office of Naval History, the Naval Historical Office, the United States Army Center of Military History, the Air Force Historical Research Agency, president of the Oral History Association and the American Military Institute and other organizations. The Pogue Library at Murray State is named after him.


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