(31) Lou Henry Hoover


Lou Henry Hoover



Death date



Herbert Hoover 

Dates of service


Relationship to president


Other marriages 




First Ladies National Library Biography of Lou Hoover

White House Historical Association: Lou Hoover

Papers/ letters collections

Lou Henry Hoover House Papers

Lou Hoover: Manuscripts

Historical sites

Lou Hoover Gravesite

Fascinating details

  • She received a B.A in geology from Stanford University in 1898, being the only female to major in this subject at the time.
  • Before Herbert Hoover was president, Lou accompanied him to China where he accepted an invitation to head China’s mine program. There, they had to protect themselves against attacks from I Ho Chuan, a secret society that began violently attacking foreigners who had influence on the local economy—like those in the mining industry.
  • Herbert and Lou shared equal billing in the translation of Agricola’s De Re Metallica from German to English, winning the Mining and Metallurgical Society’s gold award.
  • Her experience in China inspired her to learn Mandarin. Lou attained fluency in six languages—English, Mandarin, Latin, Spanish, German, Italian, and French.
  • She was very involved in the effort to publicly promote food conservation during wartime and organized for the systematic categorization of the White House mansion’s furnishing.
  • Lou spoke on radio shows that had a feminist slant and is rumored to have influenced President Hoover’s decision to name seven women to positions requiring Senate approval, as well as sign Executive Order 5984, amending the Civil Service Rule VII to require nominations to be made “without regard to sex.”