Few Americans have known greater acclaim or more bitter criticism than Herbert Hoover. Orphaned at an early age, Hoover achieved international success as a mining engineer and worldwide gratitude as “The Great Humanitarian” who fed Europe during and after both World Wars. His dynamic philosophy balanced responsibility for the welfare of others with an unshakable faith in free enterprise and individualism. But in 1929, within a few months of taking office as the 31st President of the United States, the global hero became a scapegoat for the Great Depression that put millions of his countrymen out of work. He was soundly defeated in 1932 at the hands of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In one of history's most remarkable comebacks, Hoover returned to Washington at Harry Truman's request to avert global famine after World War II and to reorganize the executive branch of government. By the time of his death in October 1964, Hoover had regained much of his once bright reputation. The Quaker eulogy at his funeral summed up the life of Herbert Hoover, the story is a good one and a great one ... It is essentially triumphant.