The United States has seen quite a few Presidents come and go, but none of them may be as unique as Herbert Hoover. The President who would have a comet named after him and would be the first President born west of the Mississippi, in a small town called West Branch in Iowa, would also be nominated for five Nobel Peace Prizes over his lifetime. Here are some more fun facts about Herber Hoover.
1. No One Knows His Birthday
It was an exciting time for the Hoover family when Herbert was being born. West Branch is situated in a farming community and is the classic American small town. In 1874, the Hoovers were moving quickly to make sure that the birth was a healthy one. His older brother was just 3.5 at the time, so he was likely excited and causing trouble at the time. All we know for sure is that sometime between the evening of August 10 and sunrise August 11, little Herbert was born. He chose August 10 as his offical birthday.
2. He Was an Orphan
Herbert had his father pass away when he was just 6 years old. His mother died a little more than 3 years later when he was just 9. This caused Herbert to go live with relatives in Iowa and then later in Oregon. It didn’t hold him back from getting a good education, however, as Hoover became one of the first students to graduate from Stanford University. His 1895 degree was in geology.
3. Politics Wasn’t His Initial Calling in Life
We think of Herbert Hoover as a President and politician, but he rose to prominence in the national spotlight because he was the Chairman for providing relief to Belgian and French citizens trapped behind the front lines during World War I. His work helped over 9 million people and was based out of a not-for-profit, multinational agency that had no government influence involved with it whatsoever. Because of those successes, he was called to be the Commerce Secretary in 1921, a post that he would hold for a still record 7 years.
4. An Important Second Job
While Hoover was serving as the Commerce Secretary, he also founded the American Child Health Association. He served as the president of that organization until 1928 as well, severing his relationship when he chose to run for President. The goal of the organization was to raise the public awareness of health problems that children were facing at the time.
5. A Long Life
Hoover was the first President to have a telephone installed at his desk, but he was also the longest living President after serving until 2012 when Jimmy Carter passed him by. Hoover lived for nearly 32 years after his time in office. After being the President, Hoover served as the Chairman of the Boys’ Clubs of America and chaired two commissions to study the operations of the Executive Branch of the government.
Herbert Hoover led an interesting life and although he is often remembered negatively because of the Great Depression, still is one of only two Presidents ever elected without military or elected office experience. Many feel him to be lower than average as a President, but these facts show that Hoover did his best to make the best out of a bad situation.