President Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover, (1874-1964), Thirty first President of the United States, born in West Branch, Iowa, and educated at Stanford University. In 1897 he went to Australia as a mining engineer for an English syndicate, and in 1899 the Chinese Government appointed him director of general mines. His government work was terminated by the Boxer uprising and he returned to private practice, engaging in mining operations in many parts of the world. Herbert Hoover became associated with numerous successful mining companies and was managing director of several of them.
At the outbreak of World War One Herbert Hoover was living in Europe; he was appointed to organize and direct the American relief committee which aided the repatriation of more than 200,000 American tourists left in Europe as a result of the breakdown in transportation caused by the war. Soon afterward he was made head of Belgian Relief, and was entrusted with the expenditure of nearly a billion and a half dollars to purchase and supply food and clothing to the people of that war torn nation. Upon the entry of the United States into the war, President Woodrow Wilson recalled Herbert Hoover and appointed him Federal Food Administrator. After the war he was made director general of the American Relief Administration, providing food and necessities to the people of Europe impoverished by the war.
In 1921 Herbert Hoover was appointed secretary of commerce by President Warren G. Harding, and served through the administration of President Calvin Coolidge; he resigned in 1928 when he was nominated by the Republican Party as candidate for the Presidency. The campaign was bitter, not so much because of Republican action, but because of internal dissension in the Democratic Party over nomination of Alfred E. Smith. Herbert Hoover won by a popular vote of twenty one to fifteen million, and by an electoral vote of 444 to 87. At President Herbert Hoover's inauguration on March 4, 1929, he took an affirmation of office rather than the customary oath, which precepts of his Quaker religion forbade.
The first few months of the administration of President Herbert Hover were marked by the reopening of international negotiations for the limitation of naval armaments, and the appointment of a National Law Enforcement Commission to study the effects of national prohibition, and the establishment of a Federal Farm Board. President Hoover's administration was principally marked by the stock market crash of 1929, and the ensuing economic depression. Among his efforts to combat the depression were the establishment of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and a moratorium on the repayment of war debts. The continuance of the depression was chiefly responsible for President Herbert Hoover's defeat by President Franklin Roosevelt in his campaign for re-election in 1932.
After his defeat President Herbert Hoover retired to private life for the duration of the Roosevelt administration, He emerged from retirement in 1946 at the request of President Harry S. Truman to undertake a study of world food supplies to enable the United States government to administer relief to 38 war damaged countries. In 1946-1947 he headed a U.S. government commission to study the entire structure of the Federal government and to submit recommendations for its reorganization in the interests of economy and efficiency. After work of more than a year the Hoover Commission submitted a series of reports over the period of November, 1948, to March, 1949, containing a comprehensive plan for government reorganization. Among the recommendations of the report were consolidation of many departments and agencies, establishment of more cabinet posts to relieve the President of unnecessary detail work and supervision of minor agencies, and a plan to increase the attractiveness of government careers to capable men.
From 1953 to 1955, during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover again served as chairman of a commission to study United States government operations. This second Hoover Commission was given broader scope than the first. Its recommendations, contained in a series of reports issued during 1955, included proposals for a reorganization of the Central Intelligence Agency, the establishment of a civilian Defense Supply and Service Administration, the cessation of government competition with private enterprise, and curtailment of United States foreign aid and domestic loan programs.
President Herbert Hoover wrote the following books:
American Individualism - 1922
The Challenge to Liberty - 1934
Addresses upon the American Road- 1938
The problems of lasting Peace - 1942
Memoirs in 3 books - 1951/1952
The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson - 1958
An American Epic in 4 books - 1959 to 1964