55. Death and Burial

In the summer of 1963, an attack of internal bleeding could not stop the 88-year-old Hoover. The old man told Herbert Jr., "I am going to pull through. I still have a great deal of work to do." The next morning, the patient sat up in bed, called for his pipe and announced, "We’re back in business."

But soon after his 90th birthday, Hoover suffered massive hemorrhaging in the stomach and intestine. Over 200 blood transfusions were administered before the vigil ended five days later, a few minutes before noon on October 20, 1964.

Following funeral services in New York and Washington, the body of Iowa's only president arrived at the Cedar Rapids airport on October 25th. Thousands of people lined the 33-mile route to West Branch where a crowd of 75,000 waited in the sunshine. Shielded from the prairie wind by a billowing stand of cedar trees, they listened as Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood honored the life of Herbert Hoover.

Today, America's 31st president lies beneath a slab of marble within sight of the tiny cottage where his life began. In a final demonstration of Quaker simplicity, there is no presidential seal or inscription of any kind, just the name "Herbert Hoover" and the dates "1874-1964."

October 25, 1964 Herbert Hoover was buried in West Branch, Iowa in a spot overlooking his birthplace cottage.