Before he was President: Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
During the Garfield-Hancock campaign of 1880, Calvin Coolidge asked
his father for a penny to buy candy. John Coolidge refused,
explaining that if the Democrats should be elected, hard times could
be expected. After Garfield won, Calvin reminded his father that the
Republicans had stayed in power. He got the penny.
Only once was Calvin ever in trouble in school. Perhaps out of
sympathy for the other boys who were in trouble, Calvin cut the
switch, used for whipping the bad boys, just enough so it would
immediately break the next time it was used for punishment! When
Calvin was 13 he passed a qualification test that would allow him to
be a teacher, however, his father sent him to Black River Academy to
continue his education.
The academy didn't charge local residents any tuition, however,
since Calvin was from out of town he had to pay 50 cents per week to
take all of the basic courses. One semester later when he signed up
for more difficult courses he was required to pay 60 cents per week.
Perhaps to defray the costs of his education, he took a part-time
weekend job making doll carriages at the Ludlow Toy Manufacturing
Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933
Before the U.S. economy began to fail, Hoover succeeded in the
business world. Herbert Hoover graduated in 1895 with a degree in
geology. He served as a geologist and mining engineer while
searching the Western Australian gold fields in 1897. After being
appointed mine manager at 23, he mined the Sons of Gwalia gold mine,
and also the Big Bell, Cue, Leonora, Menzies and Coolgardie mines.
He continued his mining and engineering career until 1908, when he
became an independent mining consultant. He was elected to office in
1928. (Gwalia Historic Site and "Hoover's Gold," from Australian
He worked as an engineer and invented a new process to extract zinc
that was lost to the mining process. He started the Zinc Corp. in
the early part of the 20th century, and it later became part of a
Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
Born into an extremely wealthy family, Franklin Roosevelt's
childhood and early adult years were focused on higher education.
His wife Eleanor is probably as much responsible for Franklin's
professional success as he is. Neither were strangers to vast
amounts of money, though. Both were distant family relatives of
Theodore Roosevelt, who left a fortune to the members of his family.
Once, while Franklin and Eleanor were on a second honeymoon trip in
Europe, a French fortune teller told them that Eleanor would inherit
a fortune and that Franklin would become the President of the United
States. As a side note, Franklin Roosevelt himself documented the
incredible amount of money he and Eleanor spent on their European