Friday, June 04, 2004

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover This is a biography of American President Herbert Hoover.

From the site:

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10 , 1874 - October 20 , 1964) was the 31st ( 1929 - 1933 ) President of the United States .

Hoover was born into a Quaker family in West Branch , Iowa , but after his parents' deaths lived in Newberg, Oregon .

In the summer of 1885 eleven-year-old Bert Hoover boarded a Union Pacific train headed west to Oregon. Sewn into his clothes were two dimes; he also carried a hamper of his Aunt Hannah's homemade delicacies. Waiting for him on the other end of the continent was his Uncle John Minthorn, a doctor and school superintendent whom Hoover recalled as "a severe man on the surface, but like all Quakers kindly at the bottom."

Hoover's six years in Oregon taught him self-reliance. "My boyhood ambition was to be able to earn my own living, without the help of anybody, anywhere." As an office boy in his uncle's Oregon Land Company he mastered bookkeeping and typing, while attending business school in the evening. Thanks to a local schoolteacher, Miss Jane Gray, the boy's eyes were opened to the novels of Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. "David Copperfield," the story of another orphan cast into the world to live by his wits, would remain a lifelong favorite.


In the fall of 1891 Hoover entered the new Leland Stanford Junior University at Palo Alto, California . Cutting a wider swath outside the classroom than in, Hoover managed the baseball and football teams, started a laundry and ran a lecture agency. Teaming up with other poor boys against campus swells, the reluctant candidate was elected student body treasurer on the "Barbarian" slate, then wiped out a student-government debt of $2,000.

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