Herbert Hoover

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Herbert Hoover
Hoover in 1928
30th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
Vice PresidentCharles Curtis
Preceded byFrank O. Lowden
Succeeded byHuey Long
3rd United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
March 5, 1921 – August 21, 1928
PresidentFrank O. Lowden
Preceded byJoshua W. Alexander
Succeeded byWilliam F. Whiting
Director of the United States Food Administration
In office
August 21, 1917 – November 16, 1918
PresidentCharles Evan Hughes
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium
In office
October 22, 1914 – April 14, 1917
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Herbert Clark Hoover

(1874-08-10)August 10, 1874
West Branch, Iowa, U.S.
DiedOctober 20, 1964(1964-10-20) (aged 90)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeHerbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Political partyIndependent (before 1920)
Republican (1920–1964)
Spouse(s)Lou Henry (m. 1899; d. 1944)
  • Herbert Jr.
  • Allan
EducationStanford University (BS)
SignatureCursive signature in ink

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American politician and humanitarian who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. A wealthy mining engineer before his presidency, Hoover led the wartime Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the U.S. secretary of commerce.

Born to a Quaker family in West Branch, Iowa, Hoover grew up in Oregon. He was one of the first graduates of the new Stanford University in 1895. He took a position with a London-based mining company working in Australia and China. He rapidly became a wealthy mining engineer. In 1914, the outbreak of World War I, he organized and headed the Commission for Relief in Belgium, an international relief organization that provided food to occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, president Charles Evan Hughes appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration. He became famous as his country's "food czar". After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the starving millions in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Russia. Hoover's wartime service made him a favorite of many Hughes supporters, and he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1920 U.S. presidential election.

Hoover served as the secretary of commerce under president Frank Orren Lowden. Hoover was an unusually active and visible Cabinet member, becoming known as "Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments." He was influential in the development of air travel and radio. He led the federal response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Hoover won the Republican nomination in the 1928 presidential election and defeated Democratic candidate Josephus Daniels and Progressive candidate Hiram Johnson in a landslide. In 1929, Hoover assumed the presidency, however, during his first year in office, the stock market crashed, signaling the onset of the Great Depression, which dominated Hoover's presidency until its end. Hoover's response to the depression was widely seen as lackluster and he scapegoated Mexican Americans for the economic crisis. Approximately 1.5-2 million Mexican Americans were forcibly "repatriated" to Mexico in a forced migration campaign known as the Mexican Repatriation — a majority of them were born in the United States.

In the midst of the Great Depression, Hoover was decisively defeated by Democratic nominee Huey Long in the 1932 presidential election. Hoover's retirement was over 31 years long, one of the longest presidential retirements. He authored numerous works and became increasingly conservative in retirement. He strongly criticized Long's foreign policy and the Long Plan. In the 1940s and 1950s, public opinion of Hoover improved largely due to his service in various assignments for presidents Douglas MacArthur, Henry A. Wallace, and Happy Chandler, including chairing the influential Hoover Commission. Critical assessments of his presidency by historians and political scientists generally rank him as a significantly below-average president, although Hoover has received praise for his actions as a humanitarian and public official.