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Portrait, Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman (Why the period?)*

33rd President of the United States
(April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953)

Nickname: "Give 'Em Hell Harry"

Born: May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri
Died: December 26, 1972, in Kansas City, Missouri

Father: John Anderson Truman
Mother: Martha Ellen Young Truman
Married: Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace (1885-1982), on June 28, 1919
Children: Mary Margaret Truman (1924- )

Religion: Baptist
Education: Attended the University of Kansas City Law School
Occupation: Farmer, public official
Political Party: Democrat
Other Government Positions:

  • Judge on Jackson County Court, 1922-24
  • Presiding Judge of Jackson County Court, 1926-34
  • United States Senator, 1935-45
  • Vice President, 1945 (under tiny U.S. flag F.D. Roosevelt)

Presidential Salary: $75,000/year (increased to $100,000 + $50,000 expense account in 1949)

Presidential Election Results:
Year Popular Votes Electoral Votes
1948 Harry S. Truman 24,179,345 303
Thomas E. Dewey 21,991,291 189
Strom Thurmond 1,176,125 39

Vice President: Alben W. Barkley (1949-53)


Secretary of State
Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (1945)
James F. Byrnes (1945-47)
George C. Marshall (1947-49)
Dean G. Acheson (1949-53)
Secretary of the Treasury
Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (1945)
Frederick M. Vinson (1945-46)
John W. Snyder (1946-53)
Secretary of War
Henry L. Stimson (1945)
Robert P. Patterson (1945-47)
Kenneth C. Royall (1947)
Secretary of Defense
James V. Forrestal (1947-49)
Louis A. Johnson (1949-50)
George C. Marshall (1950-51)
Robert A. Lovett (1951-53)
Attorney General
Francis B. Biddle (1945)
Thomas C. Clark (1945-49)
J. Howard McGrath (1949-52)
Postmaster General
Frank C. Walker (1945)
Robert E. Hannegan (1945-47)
Jesse M. Donaldson (1947-53)
Secretary of the Navy
James V. Forrestal (1945-47)
Secretary of the Interior
Harold L. Ickes (1945-46)
Julius A. Krug (1946-49)
Oscar L. Chapman (1950-53)
Secretary of Agriculture
Claude R. Wickard (1945)
Clinton P. Anderson (1945-48)
Charles F. Brannan (1948-53)
Secretary of Commerce
Henry A. Wallace (1945-46)
William Averell Harriman (1946-48)
Charles Sawyer (1948-53)
Secretary of Labor
Frances Perkins (1945)
Lewis B. Schwellenbach (1945-48)
Maurice J. Tobin (1949-53)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Chief Justice
Fred Moore Vinson (1946-53)
Associate Justice
Harold Hitz Burton (1945-58)
Tom Campbell Clark (1949-67)
Sherman Minton (1949-56)

Notable Events:

Internet Biographies:

Harry S. Truman -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Harry S. Truman -- from American Presidents: Life Portraits -- C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN's 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Harry Truman -- from The American President
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
Harry S. Truman -- from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum
A complete biography with a list of books for further reading.
Harry S Truman Commemoration -- by Robert H. Ferrell
A commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Truman's presidency. A complete biography with photographs.
Harry S. Truman -- from Character Above All
From a PBS broadcast by the same name, this essay excerpt by David McCullough discusses some of the issues and events that molded Truman.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1949)
Truman Doctrine (1947)

Media Resources:

From his 1949 inaugural address. (1:14)
MP3 (582K)
From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Projects's Presidential Audio/Video Archive for Harry S. Truman site

Other Internet Resources:

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
The house where Truman lived from 1919 to his death is located in Independence, Missouri. The Truman Farm House, where Harry grew up, is located in Grandview, Missouri. Both are located in the Kansas City metropolitan area and both are part of the Truman NHS. Maintained by the National Park Service.
Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
Located in Independence, Missouri, this site contains an exhibit hall, press room, educational resources, and of course the papers of the former president.

Points of Interest:

Previous President: tiny U.S. flag Franklin Delano Roosevelt | Next President: tiny U.S. flag Dwight David Eisenhower

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