Edward E. Hazlett – Captain, United States Navy


WASHINGTON, November 4, 1958 – President Eisenhower will go to Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow to attend funeral services for a boyhood friend, Navy Captain Everett Hazlett.

The White House Press Secretary, James C. Hagerty, said the President’s news conference tomorrow will beheldat 10 A.M. for he could go to Arlington at 11.

Captain Hazlett, who attended the United States Naval Academy while President Eisenhower was at West Point, died on Sunday.

Both Dwight Eisenhower and Edward E. Hazlett grew up in Abilene, Kansas, and the friendship they developed there lasted until Hazlett’s death in 1958. Eisenhower credits Hazlett with convincing him to apply for an appointment to the Naval Academy, and when that didn’t work out, to West Point. Thus, Hazlett had a career in the Navy and Eisenhower pursued his in the Army.

Ill health ended Hazlett’s active military career in 1939. Eisenhower’s status, on the other hand, began to improve dramatically in 1941 when the U.S. entered the war. These papers represent Eisenhower’s letters to Hazlett from 1941 to 1958. Earlier correspondence probably occurred but did not survive.

Eisenhower’s letters to Hazlett contain many references to personal and family matters, including activities of their wives and children and health problems the two men suffered. In the 1940’s the letters discuss such matters as the war effort, military service, military training, the need for reorganization of the military, and interservice rivalry. Other topics include the Korean War, NATO, and basic beliefs and principles. Politics, campaigning, the presidential decision-making process, McCarthy, Vietnam, trade issues, the legislative program, foreign policy, civil rights, and the Middle East are among the topics covered in the letters from 1952 to 1958. Some of Eisenhower’s letters in the 1950’s contain long explanations on how and why certain decisions were made.

Historians have suggested that Eisenhower may have been using this correspondence as a means of recording his thoughts on different subjects knowing full well that researchers would someday have access to these materials. Whatever the motive behind the correspondence, Eisenhower’s letters to Hazlett remain and important resource for scholars interested in the President’s thinking on many important issues.


February 22, 1892 Born in Abilene, Kansas
1907-1911 Attended Abilene High School for one year and a military academy in Wisconsin for three years
1911-1915 Attended U.S. Naval Academy, graduated in 1915
1917-1918 World War I, served aboard the U.S.S. Leonidas
1920’s Served in the submarine service
Mid-1930’s Served in Navy Department, Washington, D.C.
1939 Retired from active duty due to disability
1939-1944 Called back to Naval duty as instructor at Naval Academy
1944-1946 Professor of Military Science for the Navy at University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1946 Retired
November 2, 1958 Died at Bethesda Naval Hospital; burial at Arlington National Cemetery

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