(38.) HERBERT HOOVER (1874-1964)
Republican Hoover/Charles Curtis
Defeated by Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt/John Garner, 1932
Hoover graduated from Stanford University, and as an expert engineer, he received assignments in widespread parts of the world, including Australia, China, Central and South America, and Russia. He attained a high standing in his profession and became a public figure during Word War I.
As wartime Food Administrator, Hoover organized rationing by the American people, which became know as “Hooverizing,” and while it was not popular, his methods were respected. He was successful at home as well as in handling American Relief in Europe. Until 1921 he was engaged in foreign relief work on an increasing scale, after which he served as Secretary of Commerce until his nomination for President.
During his incumbency the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact was ratified, but his administration was marred by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, which engendered economic problems of great magnitude and widespread discontent with the government. Many economists feel that the laissez faire policy of the previous eight years contributed more to the long depression that followed, than Hoover’s acts or neglect.
Strangely, Hoover’s exceptional talents were utilized most by Democratic Administration rather than by his own party, both before and after the depression.