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Biographies for Kids >> US Presidents for Kids

Biography

President Herbert Hoover

President Herbert Hoover
President Hoover
from the Library of Congress


Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States.

Served as President: 1929-1933
Vice President: Charles Curtis
Party: Republican
Age at inauguration: 54

Born: August 10, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa
Died: October 20, 1964 in New York, New York

Married: Lou Henry Hoover
Children: Herbert, Allan
Nickname: Chief, The Great Engineer


Biography:

What is Herbert Hoover most known for?

Herbert Hoover is known for being the president during the stock market crash of 1929 which triggered the start of the Great Depression.

Growing Up

Hoover was born in Iowa, the son of a blacksmith. However, both his parents died when he was young and he became an orphan. When he was ten he moved to Oregon to live with his uncle. Herbert was smart and hard working as a child.

Hoover attended Stanford University in California where he earned a degree in geology. After graduating he went to work for mining companies in different locations around the world including Australia and China.

Herbert Hoover Listening to the Radio
Herbert Clark Hoover
by Unknown
When World War I broke out, Hoover was living in England. He helped to evacuate 120,000 Americans from throughout Europe. Later in the war, he took on the job of keeping refugees fed throughout Europe. At one point his organization was feeding 10.5 million people a day. He did such an excellent job that the President of the United States noticed his work.

Before He Became President

When Warren Harding was elected, Hoover was appointed to the cabinet position of Secretary of Commerce. Hoover was not involved in any of the many scandals that were so rampant in Harding's administration. As a result, he was able to stay on when Harding died and President Calvin Coolidge took over and cleaned house. As Secretary of Commerce, Hoover organized various public works throughout the country. One such work was the Boulder Dam on the Colorado River. It was later renamed the Hoover Dam.

Hoover gained the reputation of an honest, intelligent, hard worker and was asked to run for president in the next election. He easily won taking 40 of the 48 states.

Herbert Hoover's Presidency

Hoover's presidency and legacy will forever be defined by the stock market crash of 1929 that occurred just a few short months after he took the office. The day is called Black Thursday. With the crash of the stock market, businesses failed, people lost their jobs, and the country entered the worst economic crisis in its history.

The Great Depression

The stock market crash was the beginning of the Great Depression. Hoover didn't know what to do. He believed in small government and didn't think the government should interfere. He tried to cut taxes and increase public works spending, but it wasn't enough. Things just got worse.
Portrait of Herbert Hoover - 31st President
Herbert Hoover
by Elmer Wesley Greene


Although the collapse wasn't Hoover's fault he took much of the blame. He also didn't do a lot to try and help the poor and unemployed. Homeless camps became known as Hoovervilles.

Hoover was soundly defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the next election. People needed a change and Roosevelt offered hope.

How did he die?

Herbert Hoover lived a long full life after leaving the presidency. During World War II he came back to work to help with food relief again. He also worked on a commission for both President Truman and Eisenhower to find ways to cut costs in government. Hoover died at the age of 90.

Fun Facts About Herbert Hoover Activities

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