Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the U.S. His birthplace was in Iowa and his parents were Quakers. He became an orphan at the age of 10, attended Friends Pacific Academy and later enrolled in Stanford University 1891 and graduated in Geology in 1895.
This was the first graduate batch of Stanford University which started its classes in 1891. For the next 20 years after graduation, he was a mining engineer and a consultant. He traveled extensively world wide as a mining engineer and consultant till the outbreak of World War I. With the onslaught of War, he gave his time to humanitarian deeds and with volunteers distributed food, clothing, shelter and cash to the needy. Long before the Armistice of 1918, he was an international hero and won accolades due to his relief measures and relief distribution to the war torn countries.
In 1917, as the head of American Food Administration under President Wilson, he succeeded in controlling food wastage out of the quota dispatched to overseas soldiers and curtailed rationing at home. He was also highly publicity shy. In 1920, he was touted as the Democrat Party’s presidential candidate, a proposal he politely declined. But he envisioned the nation’s commerce as the hub of growth and stability and became the Secretary of Commerce. He revolutionized the relationship between business and government and turned the Commerce Department into a powerful institution.
The Great Depression saw him, as the Secretary of Commerce, implement measures to save the American economy. He eliminated waste and increased efficiency in business and industry. He also promoted international trade by opening overseas offices and rendered practical help and assistance to business houses.
Herbert Hoover was intensely involved with the banking sector and worked out new long term home mortgage system which stimulated housing constructions. His radio conferences played a key role in early organizational development and regulation of broadcasting. He raised funds for promoting health and education in schools and communities.
In 1928, he became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. On becoming the President, his administrative reforms were progressive and set out to improve the general conditions of Americans. He expanded civil service coverage, cancelled private oil leases, overhauled the Internal Revenue Service and went after tax evading businessmen and the crime syndicates.
As president, he presented programs for reconstructing the finance corporation to aid business and industrial sector. Extended additional help for farmers facing mortgage and foreclosure and introduced reforms for the banking sector. His opponents unfairly blamed him for the economic depression. And on this unfounded criticism he was defeated in the 1932 Presidential race.
Later on, President Truman and Eisenhower extended him the opportunity to organize the executive department in various Commissions where many effective reforms and recommendations originated under his stewardship. He died at the age of 90 in New York City while authoring a book on various economic reforms.