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Herbert Hoover

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Herbert Hoover

Born : 10 August 1874
City : West Branch, Iowa
Rank : ( 538 )
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Herbert Hoover Biography

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was the 31st President of the United States (1929–1933). Hoover, born to a Quaker family, was a professional mining engineer. He achieved American and international prominence in humanitarian relief efforts in war-time Belgium and served as head of the U.S. Food Administration during World War I. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren G. 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.

Family background and early life

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 (1849–1880), was a blacksmith and farm implement store owner, of German (Pfautz, Wehmeyer) and Swiss (Huber, Burkhart) descent. Jesse and his own father Eli had moved to Iowa from Ohio twenty years prior. Hoover's mother, Hulda Randall Minthorn (1849–1884), was born in Norwich, Ontario, Canada, and had English and Irish ancestry. Both parents were Quakers.

Mining engineer
Australia

Hoover went to Western Australia in 1897 as an employee of Bewick, Moreing & Co., a London-based gold mining company. His geological training and work experience were well suited for the firm's objectives.He worked at gold mines in Big Bell, Cue, Leonora, Menzies, and Coolgardie.Hoover first went to Coolgardie, then the center of the Western Australian goldfields, where he worked under Edward Hooker, a company partner. Conditions were harsh in these goldfields even though he got a $5,000 salary (equivalent to $100,000 today).In the Coolgardie and Murchison rangelands on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert, Hoover described the region as a land of "black flies, red dust and white heat".He served as a geologist and mining engineer while searching the Western Australian goldfields for investments. After being appointed as mine manager at the age of 23, he led a major program of expansion for the Sons of Gwalia gold mine at Gwalia, and brought in many Italian immigrants to cut costs and counter the union militancy of the Australian miners.He believed "the rivalry between the Italians and the other men was of no small benefit." He also described Italians as "fully 20 per cent superior" to other miners.

Humanitarian work

When World War I began in August 1914, Hoover helped organize the return of around 120,000 Americans from Europe. He led 500 volunteers in distributing food, clothing, steamship tickets and cash. "I did not realize it at the moment, but on August 3, 1914, my career was over forever. I was on the slippery road of public life." Hoover liked to say that the difference between dictatorship and democracy was simple: dictators organize from the top down, democracies from the bottom up

Presidency (1929–1933)

Hoover held a press conference on his first day in office, promising a "new phase of press relations". He asked the group of journalists to elect a committee to recommend improvements to the White House press conference. Hoover declined to use a spokesman, instead asking reporters to directly quote him and giving them handouts with his statements ahead of time. In his first 120 days in office, he held more regular and frequent press conferences than any other President, before or since. However, he changed his press policies after the 1929 stock market crash, screening reporters and greatly reducing his availability.���

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