George C. Marshall (1880-1959) was a powerful American military leader during World War II and the early Cold War. He served as Army Chief of Staff—the American military's highest-ranking officer—during World War II, then as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense in the Truman administration. He was the namesake of the Marshall Plan, the American economic aid package that helped to rebuild Western Europe after World War II.
In the early 1950s, Marshall became the unlikely target of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who recklessly accused Marshall of "having made common cause with Stalin" in "a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any such venture in the history of man." The attack harmed McCarthy's reputation more than it did Marshall's.