Herbert Hoover Fact 1: Herbert Hoover was born on August 10th, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa in the United States. He was called Bertie as a child.
Herbert Hoover Fact 2: His parents belonged to the Quaker religion. They were called Jesse Hoover and Hulda Randall Minthorn. His father was a blacksmith, originally from Iowa, and his mother was born in Canada but her ancestry was linked to England and Ireland.
Herbert Hoover Fact 3: Herbert Hoover had two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. Herbert Hoover's parents died whilst he was still young. His father died in 1880 and his mother died in 1884. Herbert and his siblings became orphans. A Quaker called Lawrie Tatum became their guardian.
Herbert Hoover Fact 4: Following the death of his mother, he stayed with various relatives including his grandmother, his uncle Allen Hoover and uncle Dr. John Minthorn.
Herbert Hoover Fact 5: Herbert Hoover wasn't educated at high school but instead, attended night school where he studied mathematics, bookkeeping and typing.
Herbert Hoover Fact 6: After failing his entrance exams to university, he attended extra classes in order to gain entrance. He began Stanford University in 1891 where he became a very good student. He was student manager of the university's baseball and football teams. He graduated from Stanford University in 1895 with a geology degree.
Herbert Hoover Fact 7: In 1897, Herbert Hoover went to work in Australia for a London based goldmining company called Bewick, Moreing & Co. He worked in harsh conditions, describing the area as a land of 'black flies, red dust and white heat'. He was given an excellent salary in return for his hard work. He advanced very quickly at the goldmining firm, becoming a mine manager at 23 years of age.
Herbert Hoover Fact 8: Herbert Hoover married Lou Henry, whom he met at Stanford University. They married in 1899 and went on to have two sons called Herbert Charles and Allan Henry.
Herbert Hoover Fact 9: He went to China with his wife and children where he worked as chief engineer for the Chinese Bureau of Mines. Herbert Hoover later became head engineer for Bewick, Moreing & Co.
Herbert Hoover Fact 10: Herbert Hoover and his wife learned Mandarin whilst living in China. The knowledge of this language later helped Herbert Hoover to avoid eavesdroppers at the White House where he would use the language to prevent giving away important information unnecessarily.
Herbert Hoover Fact 11: Herbert Hoover became trapped in Tianjin, North China, with his family when the Boxer Rebellion occurred. The Hoovers helped to defend their city, using their local knowledge to their advantage. Herbert helped guide Marines from the United States around Tianjin and his wife worked at hospitals, and even managed to successfully deploy a .38-caliber pistol. Herbert Hoover was approached on behalf of the British Government with the suggestion that if he would become a British subject the Government would be pleased to give him an important executive post and with the hint that if he succeeded a title might await him. His answer was: "I'll do what I can for you with pleasure; but I'll be damned if I'll give up my American citizenship—not on your life!" Within the last six months two large financial organizations, each independently, have offered him $100,000 a year to enter their service; and an industrial company offered him $100,000 "to start with." He declined them all. When the Belgian relief work recently struck a financial snag, Hoover by telegraph got the promise of a loan in the United States to the British and French governments for Belgian relief of $150,000,000 ! I do not know, but I think he would be glad to turn his European experience to the patriotic use of our government. He is forty-two years old, a graduate of Leland Stanford Jr. University.
Herbert Hoover Fact 12: He resigned from Bewick, Moreing & Co. to become an independent mining consultant in 1908. He travelled all over the world up until the First World War broke out. Herbert Hoover was very successful, ending up with investments and offices across the continents in San Francisco, New York City, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Mandalay, Burma.
Herbert Hoover Fact 13: His work and experiences earned him various nicknames including 'Hail Columbia Hoover' which he gained during the Australian outbreak, and Star-spangled Hoover which he was known as by British associates whilst living in London. He was a great influence on the future mining and production of silver, lead and zinc, he was later nicknamed the 'Doctor of sick mines'.
Herbert Hoover Fact 14: He was a rich, successful man. The following quote by Herbert Hoover describes his opinion towards financial success, 'If a man has not made a million dollars by the time he is forty, he is not worth much'. His estimated personal fortune was $4 million.
Herbert Hoover Fact 15: He helped thousands of people during World War I. He assisted approximately 120,000 Americans with their safe return from Europe, he became head of the U.S. Food Administration and led hundreds of volunteers with the distribution of food, money, clothes and steamship tickets.
Herbert Hoover Fact 16: Herbert Hoover is famously recognized for his relief effort in the Belgium food crisis which occurred after Germany invaded in 1914. He worked with the Belgium leader to help feed the entire nation. He worked long hard hours from his London based office, distributing more than 2 million tons of food to victims of war. He met with German authorities on numerous occasions to convince them to permit shipments of food.
Herbert Hoover Fact 17: Walter Page, the American Ambassador to Great Britain was amazed by Herbert Hoover's efforts during WWI, he wrote the following Memoranda in 1916: "Mr. Herbert C. Hoover, Chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, would, if opportunity should offer, make a useful officer in the State Department. He is probably the only man living who has privately (i.e., without holding office) negotiated understandings with the British, French, German, Dutch, and Belgian governments. He personally knows and has had direct dealings with these governments, and his transactions with them have involved several hundred million dollars. He is a man of very considerable fortune, less than when the war began, for tins relief work has cost him much".
Herbert Hoover Fact 18: Herbert Hoover became the 31st President of the United States in 1929. He held regular press conferences during his first months of Presidency. He promised the United States that they were 'near to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land'. Unfortunately, the Great Depression materialized within months of his statement.
Herbert Hoover Fact 19: Herbert Hoover was defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. Many agree that he lost his place in Presidency following the downward economic spiral associated with the Great Depression.
Herbert Hoover Fact 20: Herbert Hoover died on October 20th, 1964, in New York City at the age of 90 years following internal bleeding. He outlived Lou Henry Hoover, his wife, by 20 years. He was buried in Iowa in the United States.
Influence & Legacy: Herbert Hoover became the President of the United States in 1929. He came from a strong mining background and became an international hero during World War One when he worked closely with Émile Francqui, the leader of Belgium, to help feed the entire nation after the devastation left following Germany’s invasion.