Lou Henry Hoover
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Introduction

Lou Hoover (1874-1944) was an American first lady (1929-1933) and the wife of Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States. As a child, Lou developed an interest in nature and the outdoors, a passion she would follow to Stanford University, where she became one of the first women in America to earn a degree in geology and met her future husband. The Hoovers traveled the world as Herbert built a successful career in the mining industry, before moving into politics. Lou Hoover kept up an active public role throughout her life; supporting European relief efforts during World War I, serving as the national president of the Girl Scouts and becoming the first first lady to deliver her own radio broadcasts. She earned the respect of many when she boldly invited the wife of the nation’s only black Congressman to a White House reception, but also received harsh criticism for her lavish entertaining style, which many considered inapproproate in the midst of the Depression.