Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964) was the thirty-first President of the United States (1929-1933). Besides his political career, Hoover was a professional mining engineer and author. He was born in West Branch, Iowa and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geology. He served as an active mining engineer and consultant for nearly twenty years, working on a wide variety of projects on four continents and displaying exceptional business acumen. After capably serving as Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, and leading relief efforts in the wake of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Hoover became the Republican Presidential nominee in 1928. His first year of presidency, however, witnessed the Great Depression, the largest and most important economic depression in modern history, which began in 1929. Hoover tried to combat the Depression with volunteer efforts and government action, none of which produced economic recovery during his term. His works include: Principles of Mining (1909), American Individualism (1922), The New Day (1928), Boyhood in Iowa (1931), The Challenge to Liberty (1934), and The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson (1958).