The Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation and the World War II generation, is the Western demographic cohort following the Lost Generation and preceding the Silent Generation. The generation is generally defined as people born from 1901 to 1927. They were shaped by the Great Depression and were the primary generation composing the enlisted forces in World War II. Most people of the Greatest Generation are the parents of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers, and, in turn, were the children of the Lost Generation.
An early usage of the term The Greatest Generation was in 1953 by U.S. Army General James Van Fleet, who had recently retired after his service in World War II and leading the Eighth Army in the Korean War. He spoke to Congress, saying, "The men of the Eighth Army are a magnificent lot, and I have always said the greatest generation of Americans we have ever produced." The term was further popularized by the title of a 1998 book by Amer