Did You Know?

Here is a list of interesting facts regarding President Herbert Hoover and his family.

Did you know…

  • The Hoovers were eyewitnesses to the Boxer Rebellion?
  • Herbert Hoover was the first President born west of the Mississippi?
  • Herbert Hoover organized the fourth (not the first) Cal-Stanford game?
  • Herbert Hoover held the Florida state record for largest bonefish caught from 1947 to 1958?
  • Herbert Hoover had a comet named for him?

Personal Information

  • Herbert Hoover had one brother, Theodore, who was 3 1/2 years older, and one sister, Mary (called May) who was 2 years younger.
  • Herbert Hoover was 5 ft. 11 inches tall.
  • Herbert Hoover’s shoe size was 11.5 and his hat size was 7.25.

Honors & Awards

  • Herbert Hoover was tendered 87 honorary degrees, which may have been a world record during his lifetime.
  • Herbert Hoover was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize – in 1921, 1933, 1941, 1946 and 1964.
  • There are currently 53 schools in the United States, 1 in Germany, and 1 in Poland named for Herbert Hoover.
  • There are two asteroids named for Herbert Hoover, Hooveria (discovered 1920) and Herberta (discovered 1935).


  • Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa on the night of August 10-11, 1874, but no one noticed the exact time. Some documents list his birthday as August 11, but most records, and Mr. Hoover himself, went with August 10.
  • Herbert Hoover became an orphan at the age of nine when his mother died in February, 1884. His father had died in December, 1880. Herbert was raised by relatives in Iowa and Oregon.
  • Herbert Hoover was one of the very first students at Leland Stanford, Jr. University, graduating as a member of the “Pioneer” class of 1895 with a bachelor’s degree in geology.
  • Herbert Hoover rose to public prominence during World War I as the Chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, a non-profit, multi-national, non-governmental organization that provided food for more than 9,000,000 Belgian and French civilians trapped behind the front lines.
  • Herbert Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce from March 5, 1921 to August 21, 1928, when he resigned to run for President. To date, he is the longest serving Commerce Secretary in U. S. history.
  • In 1923 Herbert Hoover founded the American Child Health Association, an organization dedicated to raising public awareness of child health problems throughout the United States. Mr. Hoover served as the president of the ACHA until 1928.
  • Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was the first person to appear on television, on April 7, 1927, in a demonstration transmission conducted between Washington and New York by Bell Laboratories.


  • Herbert Hoover was the first President born west of the Mississippi River and the only President born in Iowa.
  • Herbert Hoover was the first President to have a telephone on his desk in the Oval Office.
  • To help President Hoover stay fit, White House doctor Cdr. Joel Boone invented a game called “Hooverball,” which is a combination of volleyball and tennis using a weighted medicine ball.


  • Former-President Hoover lived for 31 years, 231 days after leaving office, longer than any other Former-President until President Jimmy Carter surpassed him on September 7, 2012.
  • Former-President Hoover chaired two Commissions on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, one under President Truman and the other under President Eisenhower. The Hoover Commissions studied the organization and methods of operation of the Executive branch of the Federal Government, and recommended changes to promote economy, efficiency, and improved service.
  • In 1949, Former-President Hoover declined an offer from Gov. Thomas Dewey of New York to appoint Hoover to the U. S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert F. Wagner. John Foster Dulles was instead nominated to fill the vacancy.
  • Former-President Hoover served as Chairman of the Boys’ Clubs of America from 1936 until his death in 1964.

Herbert & Lou

  • Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover were both born in Iowa, Lou in Waterloo and Herbert in West Branch. They met as students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
  • Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover both graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Geology.
  • As newlyweds, the Hoovers lived for almost 2 years in China while Herbert worked as a mining engineer and executive. In the summer of 1900 they were caught up in the Boxer Rebellion and were besieged for three weeks in the city of Tientsin.
  • During the Hoovers’ residence in China, Lou Henry Hoover became fairly fluent in Chinese, Herbert less so. In later years they would occasionally speak Chinese to each other when they didn’t want people around them to understand what they were saying.
  • Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover had two sons, Herbert Charles Hoover (Aug. 4, 1903-Jul. 9, 1969) and Allan Henry Hoover (Jul. 17, 1907-Nov. 4, 1993). Both graduated from Stanford like their parents.
  • Between 1907 and 1912, Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover collaborated on translating into English Georgius Agricola’s massive Renaissance mining treatise De Re Metallica. The Hoovers’ translation is still in print.
News Reporter