A Boy Named Herbert Hoover

By Thomas F. Schwartz

Herbert Hoover namesake, 1932.
Herbert Hoover namesake, 1932.

On March 30, 1932, a letter was sent to President Herbert Hoover from a young boy in Jackson, Tennessee along with a photograph.  Perhaps his first letter ever written to a President, the young man wrote:

Mr. Herbert Hoover


This letter is going to be different from any other I ever wrote because it has the same name at the end and beginning.

I have seen your picture in our history and the screen to.  I am going to send you one of mine.

I had my eleventh birthday Easter Sunday and I am in the lower fifth grade.

I have one brother who is twelve years old and one who is eight.

I was less than three years old when my father died and so I don’t remember him.

We are a busy family for we three boys go to school and my mother to work at the same time.


Yours truly,


Herbert Hoover

The letter must have resonated with the President.  Having lost his own father when he was six and a mother who was forced to find ways to supplement income for three children, President Hoover understood the emotion behind words penned by the eleven year old.  Instructing Lawrence Richey, his secretary, to respond to the young Hoover, the President sent a photograph of himself with King Tut, his beloved dog.


One thought on “A Boy Named Herbert Hoover

  1. I would like your permission to post an article in the Family findings, the quarterly journal of the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical society, of which I am the editor, about Herbert E. Hoover, the boy from Jackson, Tennessee, including the letter to the president. I have done initial research on the boy and his family and can write an article about the correspondence. You note that the president did not respond in a letter but did send a photo of himself with his dog. Could I have a scanned image, in jpeg 300 dpi or better, of that image to possibly include with the article? I am also the Madison County Archivist and have found several records about the family here which can be used in the article. I would be happy to send you a copy of the article before publication if so desired. Thanks. Thomas L. Aud

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