Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was a self-made millionaire in the mining industry, a very successful Secretary of Commerce from 1921-28, and a very unsuccessful president of the U.S. from 1929 to 1933. His term saw the onset of the Great Depression, which began with the stock market crash just a few months after he took office. Today, Hoover's name is most associated with the shanty towns—"Hoovervilles"—erected during the Depression by the nation's unemployed and homeless.
During the course of Hoover’s unfortunate presidency, Americans rather unfairly blamed the president for all the problems unleashed by the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt trounced Hoover in the election of 1932.