Hoover, Herbert

Herbert Clark Hoover

b. 10 Aug 1874, West Branch, Iowa
d. 20 Oct 1964, New York City, New York

Title: President of the United States
Term: 4 Mar 1929 - 4 Mar 1933
Chronology: 13 Feb 1929, election to the office of President of the United States is declared upon counting electoral votes (cast 14 Jan 1929), joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, House Chamber, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. [1]
4 Mar 1929, commencement of term
4 Mar 1929, took an oath of office as President of the United States, inaugural ceremony as part of the special session of the Senate, East Portico, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. [2]
4 Mar 1933, expiration of term
Son of a blacksmith who died when he was six years old (1880); his mother, a Quaker elder, died in 1884; was reared by relatives in West Branch, Iowa, and Newberg, Oregon; attended Friends Pacific Academy; moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1889, where he worked as an office boy for his uncle and attended night school; enrolled in the newly established Stanford University (1891); received bachelor's degree in geology (1895); began his first job as a mine labourer; after a few months he secured a position as an assistant to one of the leading mining engineers in the West; was made an aide to the manager of mines at Landsburg, New Mexico; was engaged by a British firm to examine mining properties in Australia (1897); managed several important mines in that country; took on extended investigations of the coal and iron mines of Shanxi, Manchuria, and Mongolia (1899); was in Tianjin at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and helped to mobilize many proforeign Chinese, resisting the Boxers; went back to California for a short time, but returned to China in 1901 as general manager of coal mines; became a junior partner in Bewick, Moreing & Co. (1902); terminated his partnership and established himself as an engineer (1907) in independent practice, with headquarters in New York and San Francisco; acted as a consultant in the administration and reorganization of large metallurgical, railroad, and mining enterprises; while on a business trip to Europe, he organised the American Committee for Repatriation of American Citizens from Europe; headed the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which organised food distribution system in Belgium after German occupation; won international recognition for his humanitarian efforts during World War I; upon his return to the U.S., he was appointed head of the American Food Administration (1917-1918); served as a member of the Supreme Economic Council and head of the American Relief Administration, organised shipments of food for starving millions in central Europe; publicly endorsed Warren Harding and was appointed Secretary of Commerce (1921-1928) in his Cabinet; became the leading Republican candidate for the 1928 election; was elected President of the United States (4 Mar 1929 - 4 Mar 1933); faced agricultural problems upon taking office and called a special session of Congress to pass the Agricultural Marketing Act (1929); during the Great Depression, he sought to spur private groups to lessen the impact of the market crash and to provide relief for the unemployed; resisted giving federal relief funds to state and local governments; supported the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (1932); suffered a resounding defeat at the election of 1932; retired to his Califonia home and devoted much time to the Hoover Institution; criticised foreign and domestic policy of Franklin Roosevelt and pleaded for nonintervention upon the breakout of World War II; after the end of the war, he was asked to participate in elaboration of measures to provide relief for war-torn Europe; served as chairman of the Commission on Organisation of the Executive Branch of Government (1947-1949, 1953-1955).
Biographical sources: "The Life of Herbert Hoover", by George H. Nash (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1983-1996), 3 vols; The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, October 21, 1964, vol. CXIV, No. 38,987, pp. 1, 41 (obituary).

Candidate (party) Electoral vote (14 Jan 1929)
Herbert Clark Hoover (Republican) 444
Alfred Emanuel Smith (Democratic) 87
total number of electors appointed 531
number of votes for a majority 266
Source of electoral results: Congressional Record, 70th Congress, 2nd Session, 3396.

[1] Congressional Record, 70th Congress, 2nd Session, 3396.
[2] Congressional Record, 71st Congress, Special Session of the Senate, 3-7.
Image: photograph (c. 1928)
Last updated on: 24 Dec 2011 12:34:52