Herbert Hoover, thirty-first United States President. Recipient John O’Hara Cosgrave gold medal award Dutch Treat Club of New York; Gold medal International Benjamin Franklin Society, 1954.
Herbert Hoover was born to Quaker parents of German, Swiss, Canadian and Irish descent.
Herbert Hoover was born on August 10, 1874, in West Branch, Iowa, the first of his office born in that state and west of the Mississippi River. His father, Jesse Hoover, was a blacksmith and farm implement store owner, of German and Swiss acenstry. Jesse Hoover and his father Eli had moved to Iowa from Ohio twenty years previously. Hoover's mother, Hulda Randall Minthorn was born in Norwich, Ontario, Canada, and was of English and Irish ancestry. Both of parents were Quakers.
Bachelor of Arts in Engineering, Stanford, 1895. Honorary degrees from 81 instns. in the United States and abroad. 296 medals, awards, honors including 61 gold medals from American, foreign orgns. and societies Honorary citizen of 24 European cities.
56 honorary memberships in science and technical societies.
Herbert Hoover achieved American and international prominence in humanitarian relief efforts and served as head of the U.S. Food Administration before and during World War I. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business under the rubric "economic modernization". In the presidential election of 1928, Hoover easily won the Republican nomination, despite having no elected-office experience. Hoover is the most recent cabinet secretary to be elected President of the United States, as well as one of only two Presidents (along with William Howard Taft) elected without electoral experience or high military rank. America was at the height of an economic bubble at the time, facilitating a landslide victory for Hoover over Democrat Al Smith.
Hoover, a globally experienced engineer, believed strongly in the Efficiency Movement, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste, and could be improved by experts who could identify the problems and solve them. He also believed in the importance of volunteerism and of the role of individuals in society and the economy. Hoover, who had made a small fortune in mining, was the first of two Presidents to redistribute their salary (President Kennedy was the other; he donated all his paychecks to charity). When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he took office, Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression with volunteer efforts, public works projects such as the Hoover Dam, tariffs such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, an increase in the top tax bracket from 25% to 63% and increases in corporate taxes. These initiatives did not produce economic recovery during his term, but served as the groundwork for various policies incorporated in Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. After 1933 he became a spokesman in opposition to the domestic and foreign policies of the New Deal. In 1947 President Harry S. Truman brought him back to help make the federal bureaucracy more efficient through the Hoover Commission. The consensus among historians is that Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by his failure to end the downward economic spiral. Hoover is generally ranked no higher than average among US Presidents.
Memoirs, Volume 1: Years of Adventure, 1874-1920 (1951)
Memoirs, Volume 2: The Cabinet and the Presidency, 1920-1933 (1952)
Memoirs, Volume 3: The Great Depression, 1929-1941 (1952)
Principles of Mining (1909)
American Individualism (1922)
New Day (1928)
Boyhood in Iowa (1931)
Hoover After Dinner (1933)
The Challenge to Liberty (1934
Addresses Upon the American Road (1938)
America's Way Forward (1939)
Shall We Send Our Youth to War? (1939)
Problems of Lasting Peace (1942
America's First Crusade (1943)
The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson (1958)
An American Epic (1961)
Member advising committee Limitation of Armaments Conference, November 1921, World War Debt Committee, etc. Member of advisory board World Bank Reconstrn. and Development Trustee Stanford University, Mills College, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Member Woodrow Wilson Centenniel Celebration Commission.
Member American Institute Mining and Metallurgical Engineer (president 1920), American Engineering Council (president 1921), American Child Health Association (president 1922).
Married Lou Henry, 1899 (died January 7, 1944). Children: Herbert, Allan Henry.