Herbert Hoover (Herbert Clark Hoover)

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover

31st US President. He was the scapegoat President blamed for the Great Depression and all that was wrong with America. Herbert Hoover had the misfortune to inherit an economy and a faulty banking system which collapsed before it could be reformed. His detractors wove and promoted a myth labeling Hoover as heartless, inept and reactionary which unjustly prevails to this day. He was born in West Branch, Iowa. His parents, along with most of the community were Quakers. His father was a blacksmith. By the time he was eleven, he was orphaned and sent to Oregon to live with his Uncle who enabled him to enroll at Stanford graduating with a degree in geology. Here he met Lou Henry who became his wife. In the capacity of a mining engineer working in many different countries, he became a self-made millionaire. During and Before World War I, he was in charge of food relief in Europe. Hoover went on the serve as Secretary of Commerce under both Harding and Collidge. His record there was impressive: He expanded the Census Bureau giving planners use of its information, established the Railway Labor Mediation Board, Standardized airport runways requiring landing lights and radio beams and wrote the first uniform highway safety code. Above all, warned President Coolidge about the dangers of excessive stock market speculation. Greater prominence followed with election to the Presidency. His term went well until the stock market crash and subsequent depression. A confrontation with war veterans over bonus payments even further sunk his popularity. Recovery programs were already in place when he was swept out of office. To spur growth, he authorized millions in tax cuts, doubled expenditure for public works and asked state governors to do likewise. Public buildings, dams, electrical and highway projects were underway before his departure. He was recalled to government service after World War II to administer economic relief in postwar Europe. The Hoovers took up residency in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. He died here simply of old age at 90. His remains were taken to West Branch, Iowa and interred on a hill overlooking his birthhouse. Some 70,000 people witnessed the simple Quaker Service which took but a few minutes. His wife was removed from a cemetery in California and reburied beside him. The grave and humble birthplace has become the The Hoover Library and Museum. Hoover’s death ended a lifetime of accomplishment and public service. He wrote more than thirty books while enlarging his world-renowned library at Stanford University. The tower that bears his name was completed in 1941 and he maintained an office on the eleventh floor. Originated and begun by the President, the massive project initially called Boulder dam, was renamed Hoover Dam in his honor. It was mainly responsible for the development of the western portion of the country providing cheap energy for industry and farming.

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  • August, 10, 1874
  • West Branch, Iowa


  • October, 20, 1964
  • New York, New York

Cause of Death

  • died following massive internal bleeding


  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
  • West Branch, Iowa

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