Lou Henry Hoover


"Lou Henry Hoover has impacted on many Women's lives throughout our country and the world. We, as women of Iowa, would be remiss if we did not recognize the significant role she played during the early part of this century."
— Diana Mayes, 1987

Lou Henry Hoover was born in Waterloo, Iowa in 1874. At the age of 10, she moved to California and in 1898 became the first woman to earn a geology degree from Stanford University. There, she met and married the future president of the United States; they and their family traveled and lived all over the world. Intelligent, talented, energetic, and public-spirited, she directed her efforts toward the benefit of others. During World War I, she established the American Women's Committee for Economic Relief to aid wounded soldiers and families. She organized food conservation drives and provided housing and assistance for women. She twice served with distinction as national president of the Girl Scouts of America. She organized the National Women's Athletic Association and a National Women's Conference on Law Enforcement. She enjoyed a lifelong love of the outdoors and a dedication to conservation. Since her death in 1944, awareness of the impact of her life has increased through the release of her papers and other written materials. Hoover was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1987.