WASHINGTON -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, the victorious allied commander of World War II who went on to become America's President in peace-time, died at 12:25 p.m. EST. He was 78.
The famed general of the Army, who served two terms in the White House as the nation's 34th president, succumbed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Death ended a long and valiant battle Eisenhower had waged against illness dating back to his first heart attack in 1955 late during his first term. He had been in Walter Reed almost one year with a string of four heart attacks, surgery and pneumonia in February, and congestive heart failure in March.
The announcement said Eisenhower's passing was "peaceful and he experienced no distress."
Mrs. Eisenhower and the former President's immediate family "were nearby" when he died, the hospital said.
President Nixon was on his way from the White House to Walter Reed when the announcement was made.
Maj. Gen. Frederic Hughes, hospital commander who made the death announcement, said the general succumbed "after a long and heroic struggle against overwhelming illness."
Hughes said that other members of Eisenhower's family along with President Nixon and the nation's other two living ex-Presidents Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson were immediately notified of his death.
Hughes, reading from a prepared statement, said that all further arrangements for the state funeral were now in the hands of military command for the District of Columbia.
He also said in lieu of flowers the Eisenhower family wish donations be made to charities of the former President's choice. They included Eisenhower College in New York State, the People to People Program, Freedom Foundation and the Dwight David Eisenhower Foundation for Cerebral Palsy, and the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Inc.