31st U.S. President: Herbert Hoover

About the thirty-first President of the United States Herbert Hoover, his birth, death, biography, description, facts and quotes.

31st President


Born: August 10, 1874, West Branch, Ia.

Died: October 20, 1964, New York, N.Y.

Career: Graduate of Stanford University, worked for 20 years as a mining engineer, building up an international business empire and personal fortune of $4 million. During W.W.I, he coordinated worldwide efforts to provide relief for starving civilians, served as American Food Administrator. In Cabinet under Harding and Coolidge as "Secretary of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of everything else." During W.W. II, long after his term as President, Hoover once more headed humanitarian relief efforts. He also chaired government reorganization commissions for Truman and Eisenhower.

Personal Life: At 24, he married Lou Henry, a Stanford co-ed who shared his interest in minerals. (Later they collaborated on a published translation of an ancient treatise on metals.) Lou followed "Bert" on his travels even after their 2 sons were born. By the time Herbert, Jr., was 4, he had circled the globe 3 times.

His Person: he was 5'11", with broad shoulders, round face, hazel eyes, ruddy complexion, straight hair parted near center. A deeply religious Quaker. A stickler for detail and a compulsive worker.

Election: In his 1st try for elective office, Secretary of Commerce Hoover won the Presidency in 1928. He beat Democrat Al Smith by nearly 6 1/2 million votes, and had 444 electoral votes to Smith's 87.

Term of Office: March 4, 1929-March 4, 1933 (4 years). The stock market collapsed just 8 months after he took office, and Hoover was crushed in his bid for reelection.

Little-Known Facts: During the Depression, Hoover lent his name not only to the shantytowns that sprang up everywhere ("Hoovervilles") but to "Hoover blankets" (old newspapers wrapped around the body for warmth), "Hoover wagons" (broken-down automobiles hauled by mules), and "Hoover flags" (empty pockets turned inside out).

Quotes from Hoover:

"Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public treasury."

"The sole function of Government is to bring about a condition of affairs favorable to the beneficial development of private enterprise."

Quotes about Him:

"A private meeting with Hoover is like sitting in a bath of ink."--Secretary of State Henry Stimson

"He seems to me to be close to death. He has the look of being done, but still of going on and on, driven by some damned duty."--Raymond Moley, 1932

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