Tony McAuliffe was born on July 2, 1898, in Washington, D.C. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1917, and was commissioned a 2d Lt of Field Artillery early due to World War I on November 1, 1918. This class was then recalled back to West Point as Officer Students from December 3, 1918, to June 11, 1919. Lt McAuliffe next participated in a Tour of Inspection of the Battlefields of Belgium, France, and Germany from July to September 1919, and then attended Field Artillery Officer School from October 1919 to July 1920. His next assignment was as a Battery Officer and instructor with the 16th Field Artillery at Camp Lewis, Washington, from October 1920 to June 1922, followed by service as Plans and Training Officer with 2nd Battalion of the 76th Field Artillery at the Presidio of Monterey, California, from August 1922 to October 1923. Capt McAuliffe served as a Battery Officer and Staff Officer with the 11th Field Artillery at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, from October 1923 to October 1926, and then as a Battery Executive Officer with the 9th Field Artillery at Fort Riley, Kansas, from October 1926 to June 1927. His next assignment was as a Battery Commander with the 6th Field Artillery at Fort Hoyle, Maryland, from November 1927 to August 1928, followed by service as a Staff Officer and General's Aide at Fort Hoyle and Schofield Barracks from October 1928 to June 1935. Col McAuliffe next served as Commanding Officer of Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion of the 11th Field Artillery at Schofield Barracks from July 1935 to April 1936, and then attended Command and General Staff School from August 1936 to June 1937. He served as an instructor at the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from June 1937 to September 1939, and attended the Army War College from September 1939 to June 1940. His next assignment was on the Army General Staff in Washington, D.C., from July 1940 to September 1942, followed by service as Commander of Division Artillery for the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from September 1942 to August 1943, and then deployed to the England from September 1943 to June 1944. Gen McAuliffe parachuted into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division on June 6, 1944, and served as Deputy Commander of the 101st Airborne Division from June 1944 to January 1945, serving as acting Division Commander during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. His next assignment was as Commanding General of the 103rd Infantry Division in Europe from January to September 1945, and then on occupation duty in Germany as Commanding General of the 79th Division during September 1945. He was Commanding General of the Airborne Center at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, from September to December 1945, and then served as Ground Forces Advisor to Admiral William Blandy during Operation Crossroads in the Pacific from January to July 1946. Gen McAuliffe served on the Joint Research and Development Board and as Deputy Director for Research and Development on the Army General Staff at the Pentagon from July 1946 to March 1949, and then served as Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division on occupation duty in Japan from April to October 1949. His next assignment was as Chief of the Chemical Corps and Chief Chemical Officer with Headquarters U.S. Army at the Pentagon from October 1949 to June 1951, followed by service as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel of the Army from June 1951 to February 1953. Gen McAuliffe served as Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations and Administration of the Army from February to October 1953, and then served as Commanding General of U.S. 7th Army in Europe from October 1953 to January 1955. His final assignment was as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Army Europe from February 1955 until his retirement from the Army on June 1, 1956. After retiring from the Army, Tony worked for the American Cyanamid Corporation as Vice President for Personnel from 1956 to 1963, and at the same time was Chairman of the New York Civil Defense Commission from 1960 to 1963. He died on August 11, 1975, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy. During the period 17 December to 26 December 1944, General McAuliffe was in command of the 101st Airborne Division during the siege of Bastogne, Belgium, by overwhelming enemy forces. Though the city was completely surrounded by the enemy, the spirit of the defending troops under this officer's inspiring, gallant leadership never wavered. Their courageous stand is epic. General McAuliffe continuously exposed himself to enemy bombing, strafing, and armored and infantry attacks to personally direct his troops, utterly disregarding his own safety. His courage, fearless determination and inspiring, heroic leadership exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States.