Herbert Hoover is the 31st and current President of the United States of America and leader of the Republican Party. Hoover was elected in the 1928 elections to serve from 1929-1933, and was controversially re-elected by the House of Representatives in 1932 to serve a second term until 1937.
Hoover is an extremely unpopular president and one of the most hated men in America. He is viewed as responsible for worsening the Great Depression, and outrage at his reelection may have broken the Democratic and Republican parties' duopoly on Presidents.
Hoover was born on 10 August 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, the second child of three born to blacksmith and store owner Jesse Hoover and Hulda Randall Minthorn. Hoover contracted the Croup at the age of 2, and narrowly survived only when resuscitated by his uncle. Hoover was orphaned at age 9. After moving to live with his uncle in Newberg, Oregon, Hoover attended Friends Pacific Academy, but dropped out at the age of thirteen to become an office assistant for his uncle's real estate office in Salem, Oregon.
He did not attend high school, but attended night school where he learned bookkeeping, typing and mathematics. Hoover attended Stanford University, and claims to be the very first student at Stanford, by virtue of having been the first person in the first class to sleep in the dormitory. Hoover majored in geology after being persuaded to do so by noted geologist John Casper Branner. He graduated from Standford in 1895.
Mining Engineer Career
After graduating, Hoover worked as a mining engineer in the gold mining districts of Nevada City and Grass Valley, before getting hired by a London-based company to work in Australia's Eastern Goldfields. He worked as an engineer for several Australian mines in the during the late 1890s. From 1899-1900, Hoover lived in China where he worked as the chief engineer for the Chinese Bureau of Mines, and as general manager for the Chinese Engineering and Mining Corporation. In 1900, Hoover and his wife became trapped in Tianjin during the Boxer rebellion. Hoover guided US marines in battle with his knowledge of local terrain.
Up until the outbreak of the Weltkrieg, Hoover worked as an independent mining engineer, and made a fortune, with investments and offices on several continents, having a personal fortune of around 4 million US dollars by 1914.
Hoover organised a large humanitarian effort during the Weltkrieg, helping to arrange the return of 120,000 Americans from Europe and to lead volunteers in distributing donated food, clothing and money.
1928 Presidential Election
Hoover was cast as the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. Running against Democratic Nominee Al Smith, Hoover won in a landslide, taking several Democratic stronghold states to become the 31st President-elect of the United States.
President of the United States of America
Hoover's first term as President of the United States was marked by economic difficulty. The slow decline of the US economy continued under Hoover's presidency, and his policies were entirely unsuccessful in repairing the economy and fixing the Great Depression. By 1932, Hoover had become an unpopular president and was expected to step down rather than face re-election, due to his actions only making the Great Depression worse.
However, Hoover was reelected by the House of Representatives in 1932, in an extremely unpopular move that made him one of the most hated men in the country. Entering his new term in 1933, his policies continued to be ineffective and only continued to make the depression worse, and he entirely failed to improve the condition of most Americans. His attempts to calm the situation often made it worse, and even the Republican party that had reelected him began to turn away from him. The unpopularity of Hoover and his reelection caused such widespread outrage that the two-party system the US had used since the American Civil War 80 years earlier began to crack, with the Socialist Party of America and Huey Long's America First Party growing in popularity in the run-up to the 1936 presidential election.
Hoover is opposed to worker welfare measures, such as minimum wages and worker compensation, as he believes they are unfair to employers. As Secretary of Commerce, Hoover went against the established economic model used under the Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson Presidencies and instead attempted to turn the Department of Commerce into a powerful service organization that forged voluntary partnerships between government and private business.
He believes in a limited role for government and that investing too much in an interventionist federal government is a threat to capitalism and individualism. He therefore opposed and vetoed many bills and government aid projects that may have helped aid Americans, instead believing that assistance should be given on a local level voluntarily.
Hoover married his college sweetheart Lou Henry in 1899, with who he had 2 children in 1903 and 1907.