Before he was President: Herbert Hoover
Clark Hoover, 1929-1933 Geologist/engineer
Before the U.S. economy began to fail, Hoover succeeded in the
business world. Herbert Hoover graduated in 1895 with a degree in
geology. He served as a geologist and mining engineer while
searching the Western Australian gold fields in 1897. After being
appointed mine manager at 23, he mined the Sons of Gwalia gold mine,
and also the Big Bell, Cue, Leonora, Menzies and Coolgardie mines.
He continued his mining and engineering career until 1908, when he
became an independent mining consultant. He was elected to office in
1928. (Gwalia Historic Site and "Hoover's Gold," from Australian
He worked as an engineer and invented a new process to extract zinc
that was lost to the mining process. He started the Zinc Corp. in
the early part of the 20th century, and it later became part of a
Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
Born into an extremely wealthy family, Franklin Roosevelt's
childhood and early adult years were focused on higher education.
His wife Eleanor is probably as much responsible for Franklin's
professional success as he is. Neither were strangers to vast
amounts of money, though. Both were distant family relatives of
Theodore Roosevelt, who left a fortune to the members of his family.
Once, while Franklin and Eleanor were on a second honeymoon trip in
Europe, a French fortune teller told them that Eleanor would inherit
a fortune and that Franklin would become the President of the United
States. As a side note, Franklin Roosevelt himself documented the
incredible amount of money he and Eleanor spent on their European
Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
Haberdasher (seller of clothing and tailoring), farmer
In 1921 Truman’s salary was probably close to nothing. He was living
in debt and trying to keep his failing business open.
One point many historians made about this time was that Truman and
his partner agreed to continue paying on the debt they incurred even
though they were forced out of business.