Thomas Edgar Stephens was a portrait painter and friend of Dwight D. Eisenhower (he refers to him as “Dear Tommy”) born in Cardiff, Wales in 1886. His father Thomas Stephens was born in Aberthaw, South Wales. He died in 1966 of cancer at Gramercy Park, New York.
He studied at the Art School of Cardiff University, then the Heatherly School in London, and then at the Académie Julian in Paris. His portrait of Eisenhower hangs in the Smithsonian Institution Gallery of Presidents in Washington, D.C. and his portrait of Dwight and Mamie at Gettysburg Battlefield home. His portrait of Eisenhower was the front page of Time Magazine April 4, 1969, Eisenhower’s obituary issue. He also painted George C. Marshall and Douglas MacArthur (Cover of Life Magazine August 28, 1950), and many other portraits of the Army’s foremost generals of World War which he was commissioned by the United States Military Academy to paint. He also painted many judges such as Fred M. Vinson and Charles Davenport Lockwood. He painted Harry Truman and the entire Eisenhower cabinet such as George M. Humphrey, Secretary of the Treasury. He also painted the Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill which Eisenhower had requested of Churchill.
His works are in the White House, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., U.S. Supreme Court, The Pentagon, Walter Reed Hospital, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, U. S. Naval Academy, Eisenhower Museum, Abilene, Kansas, Legion of Honor Gallery, Paris; U.S. Embassy, London, I. B. M. , Cornell University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Harry Truman Library and others. Member of the Salmagundi Club and others. (Who’s Who in American Art, 1952, p. 586. )
He is the father of Richard Waring, the actor, and Peter John Stephens, the playwright and author of many teenage historical novels, both now deceased. He is survived by his grandchildren: the artist Dilys Finlay-Stephens, Dylan Stephens and Gillian Stephens Langdon. He should not be confused by another Thomas E. Stephens, (1904-1988), who was an Eisenhower aide and was one of Ike’s White House Counsel.