ABOUT THE FOUNDER:
Stephen E. Ambrose, Ph.D.
1936 – 2002
Author of the bestseller Band of Brothers and Executive Producer of the HBO miniseries, Stephen E. Ambrose wrote an acclaimed, multi-volume biography of Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower’s presidency and his service as the Supreme Commander of the Allied assault on Nazi Germany. Among Ambrose’s numerous other New York Times bestsellers are D-Day and Citizen Soldiers. In addition to founding The National WWII Museum, Dr. Ambrose served as a historical consultant for the film Saving Private Ryan and was a recipient of the National Humanities Award from President Bill Clinton.
Stephen Ambrose inspired and guided the development of The National WWII Museum. He dreamt of a museum that reflected his deep regard for our nation’s citizen soldiers, the workers on the Home Front and the sacrifices and hardships they endured to achieve victory. When The National D-Day Museum opened on June 6, 2000, Ambrose’s dream was realized, but it represented only the first stage of the truly comprehensive institution he envisioned. On September 25, 2003, the United States Congress awarded the Museum the designation of "America’s National World War II Museum."
The Stephen E. Ambrose Memorial Fund supports the development of the Center for the Study of the American Spirit, its educational programs and oral history and publication initiatives. For more information or to make a donation in Dr. Ambrose’s honor, please call 877-813-3329 x 329.
"On the day World War II began, Dwight Eisenhower wrote his brother, 'Hitler should beware of the fury of an aroused democracy.' Ike was right. Galvanized by the atrocities and conquests of the totalitarian nations, America sent her best and brightest to the beaches of Normandy, Sicily, Iwo Jima, and many other battlefields oceans away from her shores. The American sailors, soldiers and airmen came not to conquer, but to liberate, not to loot or destroy, but to bring life and freedom. Eisenhower told his troops, 'We will accept nothing less than full Victory!' After horrendous sacrifices, that is what they produced. The brave young men rode onto the beaches and into battle on Higgins Boats, built in New Orleans by Andrew Higgins, the man Eisenhower said, 'won the war for us.' Higgins was a patriot and a visionary capitalist, but he could not have built tens of thousands of ships in a few short years without a tremendous effort from his workers. In a scene repeated in cities all across the country, the people of New Orleans came together - black and white, old and young, men and women - to propel the war effort. Like their soldiers, they worked hard and made sacrifices because they all believed in the righteousness of their cause. They believed that, as a popular saying of the times had it, 'we're all in this together.' Their sense of duty, of right and wrong, their teamwork and their courage embody the American spirit. The National D-Day Museum celebrates the American spirit. Young and old will come to learn of their proud heritage. Since 1945, democracy and freedom have been on the march. But visitors will learn not just of what we have done. They will learn of what we can do. They will learn that we are still in this together."
—Stephen E. Ambrose