Alfred Maximilian Gruenther, four-star general in the U.S. Army, was born in Platte Center, Nebraska, on March 3, 1899, to Christian and Mary Shea Gruenther. He graduated fourth in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1918. Between 1941 and 1953 Gruenther served as chief of staff of the Third Army, Fifth Army, Fifteenth Army Group, and Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in Europe. A protege of General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II, Gruenther was a principal American planner of the allied invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943. He received many high military honors from the United States and other countries.
After World War II Gruenther became deputy commander of U.S. forces in Austria in 1945, and was appointed supreme allied commander in Europe/commander-in-chief of the U.S. European Command in 1953. In retirement he was president of the American Red Cross from 1957 to 1964 and served on four corporate boards and three presidential commissions. Gruenther died in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 1983, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Platte Center Sign Committee / Village of Platte Center
Nebraska State Historical Society
City Auditorium, 315 4th Street, Platte Center