Herbert Clark Hoover
1984 Inductee from Mining's Past
Herbert Hoover was orphaned at the age of ten and was raised by an aunt and uncle. He decided on a college education in engineering and worked his way through Stanford University. He graduated in 1895 in Stanford’s first class with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology. He began his career as a trammer and then as a miner in California’s Mother Lode country. He then obtained an entry level position with Louis Janin, a well known mining and geological consultant in San Francisco.
At the age of 23, he joined the London firm of Bewick, Moreing & Co. and was sent to Western Australia to manage their gold mines for two years. Later, he was sent to China, where he managed the interests of European bond holders in a quasi-government coal and cement business.
In 1908, Hoover became a highly successful independent consultant, headquartered in London. For the next eleven years, Hoover directed 175,000 men on mining projects throughout the world. In 1909, Hover published his Principals of Mining. In 1912, Mr. Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, published their translation into English of the classic Latin work, De Re Metallica, originally published by Agricola in 1556.
With the outbreak of World War I, Hoover began a second career organizing refugee relief in Belgium, Great Britain, and France. He was later named to head the United States Food Administration Bureau, where Hoover directed the feeding of millions of people in both the Allied and former Axis countries. In 1920, Hoover was named Secretary of Commerce, and in 1928, he was elected President of the United States of America. His government service was performed without financial compensation.
After retiring, Hoover dedicated the remainder of his life to literary pursuits, famine relief, improved efficiency in government, and fishing.