Herbert Hoover Biography

Served: March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
Born: August 10, 1874
Birthplace: West Branch, Iowa
Died: October 20, 1964
Occupations: Mining engineer, civil engineer, businessman, humanitarian
Political Party: Republican
Spouse: Lou Henry Hoover


Hoover: A Quaker President

Herbert Hoover was the 31st U.S. president. He came from a Quaker background and worked as a mining engineer before becoming a president. In fact, before being nominated for the presidency, he had no elected-official experience.

He was known for leading humanitarian efforts in Belgium, heading the U.S. Food Administration, and serving as secretary of commerce under two presidents.

One of the key positions that defined Hoover’s governmental views was that he felt many of the expenses and waste produced by an inefficient government could be fixed with the right team of people looking at the problem.

A Life Among Miners

Hoover finished his early schooling through night classes and then went on to attend Stanford University the year it opened. In 1895, Hoover graduated with a geology degree and shortly after graduating, he began working in Australia at a London-based gold mining company.

Hoover married his college sweetheart, Lou Henry, and with their two sons they moved to China.

Herbert Hoover’s Pets

  • herbert-hoover-king-tut-dogKing Tut, Belgian shepherd
  • Pat, German shepherd
  • Big Ben, fox terrier
  • Sonny, fox terrier
  • Glen, Scottish collie
  • Yukon, Eskimo dog
  • Patrick, wolfhound
  • Eaglehurst Gillette, setter
  • Weejie, elkhound
  • And a pair of alligators owned by President Hoover’s son Allan Henry Hoover that sometimes crawled around the White House grounds

MORE PETS! Check out our photo gallery of selected White House pets

herbert-hoover-portraitBy 1908, Hoover had become an independent mining consultant and methodically began making global investments while traveling for his business. His investments paid off, and he became wealthy at a young age.

At the start of World War I, Hoover began leading humanitarian efforts, from distributing food and clothing to helping Americans stranded in Europe return to the United States. His public service era was what later led to his Congressional appointments.

It was around this time that Hoover was appointed to head the U.S. Food Administration by President Woodrow Wilson and later as secretary of commerce.

The Beginning of the Great Depression

Hoover was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate in the 1928 election, which he won in a landslide victory. With the Wall Street crash of 1929, Hoover was faced with one of the largest economic depressions in history—the Great Depression.

The terrible economy overshadowed much of his presidency, and he was not re-elected in 1932.

Did You Know…?

  • Hoover was wealthy in his own right. In fact, when he was elected to the presidency, he was the first to redistribute his presidential salary. The only other president to do so was President John F. Kennedy, who gave his money to charities.
  • As a toddler, Hoover was thought to have died after he stopped breathing while sick with croup. His uncle resuscitated him.
  • Hoover originally failed most of his college entrance exams and had to be tutored the summer before attending classes at Stanford.
  • Hoover practiced a sport of his own invention every morning while in the White House. The highly physical sport was a combination of volleyball and tennis and helped keep Hoover quite active.
Our comprehensive list of White House pets begins here...
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