George Smith Patton, Jr.
(November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945)
Patton was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.
George Smith Patton Jr. was born in San Gabriel Township, California in 1885 (in what is now the city of San Marino), to George Smith Patton Sr. (1856–1927) and his wife Ruth Wilson (1861–1928). Although he was actually the third George Smith Patton, he was called Junior. The Pattons were an affluent family of Scots-Irish descent.
Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1909. In 1916–17, he participated in the unsuccessful Pancho Villa Expedition, a U.S. operation that attempted to capture the Mexican revolutionary. In World War I, he was the first officer assigned to the new United States Tank Corps and saw action in France. In World War II, he commanded corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. In 1944, Patton assumed command of the U.S. Third Army, which under his leadership advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in military history.