Herbert Hoover Biography

Herbert Hoover
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Quick Facts

Nick Name: The Hermit Author of Palo Alto, The Grand Old Man, Friend of Helpless Children, The Man of Great Heart, The Chief, Bert, The Great Engineer, The Great Humanitarian

Birthday: August 10, 1874

Died At Age: 90

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Herbert Clark Hoover

Born in: West Branch, Iowa, United States

Famous as: 31st President of the United States

Quotes By Herbert Hoover Presidents

political ideology: Political party - Republican


Spouse/Ex-: Lou Henry Hoover

father: Jesse Hoover

mother: Hulda Hoover

siblings: Theodore J. Hoover

children: Allan Hoover, Herbert Hoover Jr.

Died on: October 20, 1964

place of death: Waldorf Astoria New York, New York, United States

Ancestry: German Americans, Canadian Americans, British Americans, Irish Americans

Cause of Death: Internal Bleeding

U.S. State: Iowa

Founder/Co-Founder: Hoover Institution, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Federal Home Loan Banks, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Consolidated Zinc, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Council on Foreign Relations, UNICEF, Commission for Relief in Belgium

More Facts

education: Stanford University

awards: 1920 - Public Welfare Medal
1930 - Hoover Medal
1929 - John Fritz Medal

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Who was Herbert Hoover?

Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States who served from 1929 to 1933. A Republican, he became very well-known for his humanitarian efforts to provide relief to millions of Europeans during and after the World War I. A mining engineer by occupation, Hoover was one of the few Presidents of the US to be elected without electoral experience or high military rank. Born to hard-working Quaker parents in Iowa, he had an idyllic childhood until the age of six when his father died. His mother too died three years later leaving him an orphan. He was then raised by his uncle, Dr. John Minthorn, who inculcated in the young boy strong work ethics and moral values. He graduated from the University of Stanford with a degree in geology and embarked on a successful career as a mining engineer. When the World War I began, he became active in the relief efforts and led a team of volunteers in distributing food, clothing, and other necessities. He also became the Chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) during this time. He then went on to become the U.S. secretary of commerce and eventually decided to run for presidency and easily won the election. However, his stint as the president was not much successful as the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which precipitated the Great Depression struck just months after he took office
Childhood & Early Life
Herbert Hoover was born on August 10, 1874, in Iowa to Jesse Hoover and Hulda Randall Minthorn. His father was a blacksmith and farm implement store owner, and both his parents were Quakers. Herbert had one brother and one sister.
Tragedy struck the family when his father died in 1880 and his mother too perished a few years later in 1884. Herbert eventually went to live with his uncle Dr. John Minthorn, a physician and businessman. He received a good education at the Minthorn household and developed strong work ethics.
In 1891, he enrolled in the Stanford University and graduated in 1895 with a degree in geology. As a college student he did various jobs to fend for himself.
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He began his career in 1897 as an employee of Bewick, Moreing & Co., a London-based gold mining company in Western Australia. Then he went to China where he worked as a chief engineer for the Chinese Bureau of Mines, and as general manager for the Chinese Engineering and Mining Corporation.
He worked hard over the next few years and became a very successful mining engineer. He started working as an independent mining consultant in 1908 and travelled all over the world. Eventually he set up offices in San Francisco, London, New York City, St. Petersburg, Paris and Burma. He was a wealthy man by 1914 with an estimated personal fortune of $4 million.
The World War I began in August 1914 and Hoover became involved in the relief work. He led a large group of 500 volunteers in distributing food and other necessities to the affected people and helped organize the return of thousands of Americans from Europe.
He became the chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) and worked together with the leader of the Belgian Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation (CNSA) to help feed the Belgians during a period of severe food crisis.
In 1917, the United States entered the war and President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to head the U.S. Food Administration. He continued his relief work even after the war and helped in providing relief to millions of starving people in Central Europe and Russia.
In 1921, he was chosen to serve as the United States Secretary of Commerce by the President Warren G. Harding. He retained his position in the administration of President Calvin Coolidge who succeeded Harding in 1923.
As the Secretary, Hoover focused on eliminating waste and increasing efficiency in business and industry. He promoted product standardizations and international trade. He was very successful in this position and it is often said that Herbert Hoover was the best Secretary of Commerce in United States history.
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge announced that he would not seek a second full term of office in the 1928 presidential election. Following this Herbert Hoover was nominated as the Republican candidate in 1928. Hoover ran against Alfred E. Smith whom he easily defeated.
He assumed office as the President of the United States on March 4, 1929. He was a progressive reformer and he immediately set about implementing plans to reform the country’s regulatory system.
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As the president, he had several ambitious plans for his nation which were thwarted by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that plunged the economy into crisis within months of his taking office. The Wall Street Crash led to the Great Depression which affected the American economy very adversely.
During this period he issued the Hoover Moratorium, enacted the Revenue Act of 1932, and attempted to rescue the economy with the passage of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, which authorized funds for public works programs and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).
In spite of his best efforts he was not able to stabilize the economy and people became disillusioned with his performance as the president. He ran for presidency again in 1932 against Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt who promised recovery with a New Deal for the American people. Roosevelt easily won by a landslide and Hoover vacated the office on March 4, 1933.
Herbert Hoover and his successor Franklin D. Roosevelt had a strained relationship. After his retirement Hoover attacked Roosevelt’s government policies in the books he wrote, such ‘The Challenge to Liberty’ (1934) and the eight-volume ‘Addresses Upon the American Road’ (1936–1961).
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Major Works
Herbert Hoover is best remembered for his works as a humanitarian during and after the World War I. He was actively involved in providing relief to millions of starving people around Europe and especially respected for his work as the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium.
Personal Life & Legacy
Herbert Hoover met Lou Henry while they were both students at the Stanford University. The couple fell in love and subsequently married in 1899. Over the years Lou Henry went on to become a cultivated scholar and linguist in her own right. The couple had two sons.
He lived a long life and died at the age of 90 in New York City on October 20, 1964.

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