HERBERT HOOVER WAS born on a farm outside of West Branch, Iowa, in 1874, raised by his uncle in Newberg, Oregon, and in 1891 he enrolled in the pioneer class of Stanford University as a geology student. In 1899, he married Lou Henry. Before he became the 31st president, Hoover made his name as a mining engineer initially with the British firm Bewick, Moreing and Co., working in China and then establishing his own consultancy firm in 1908 as a so-called doctor of sick mines.

Hoover's international reputation developed when he was asked by the American Consul General to aid American citizens stranded in London (where he was living) at the outbreak of World War I. His prowess as an administrator was ably demonstrated as ...

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