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
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