34. Personal and Family

Herbert Hoover was one of two American presidents to give away his salary to charity (John F. Kennedy being the other). His $75,000 salary was joined by his anonymous donations of $25,000 a year to aid victims of the Depression.

The Hoovers kept their own family shielded from view. Second son Allan was studying at Stanford University and so appeared infrequently in Washington, D.C. When Herbert Jr. (whom his father called “Bub”) contracted tuberculosis and was confined to a North Carolina treatment center, daughter-in-law Margaret and grandchildren Peggy Ann, Joan, and Herbert III (known as Pete) lived at the White House. Advisers wanted the youngsters brought into the spotlight to soften their grandfather's rigid image, but Hoover flatly refused to exploit his family.

Since the upstairs family quarters of the White House was "bleak as a New England barn," it did not take long for Lou to replace the dreary furnishings with cherished pieces from their own homes. She also refurbished some of President James Monroe's elegant Empire furniture for the ceremonial East Room.

Nov. 8, 1932, Margaret, Joan, Lou Henry, Herbert Hoover III, Herbert Hoover, Herbert Hoover Jr, and Allan Hoover in Palo Alto, CA.