Hoover, Calvin B. (Calvin Bryce), 1897-1974

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1897-04-14
Death 1974-06-23
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Calvin Bryce Hoover (1897-1974) was an economist, a scholar, and a leader in public service. Hoover was a member of the Duke faculty from 1925 until his retirement in 1966, served as chairman of the Department of Economics from 1937-1957, and Dean of the Graduate School from 1938-1948. Hoover is widely accepted as the founder of the field of comparative economics.

From the description of Calvin B. Hoover papers, 1929-1988 (bulk 1929-1968). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 55635828

Calvin Bryce Hoover (1897-1974) was an economist, a scholar, and a leader in public service. A member of the Duke faculty from 1925 until his retirement in 1966, Hoover served as chairman of the Department of Economics from 1937-1957, and Dean of the Graduate School from 1938-1948.

Hoover was born in Berwick, Illinois on April 14, 1897. He attended Monmouth College, but his student days were interrupted by World War I. Hoover belonged to the 123rd Field Artillery Regiment, U.S. Army, American Expeditionary Forces, and fought at the battles of St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne. As a corporal, Hoover left the Army and graduated from Monmouth College in 1922. After a brief stint of farming, Hoover decided on an academic career and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1926. He also received Litt.D. degrees from Columbia University and Monmouth College, and a Doctor of Laws degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Hoover came to Duke in 1925 and remained until his retirement in 1966. He was assistant professor (1925-1927), professor of economics (1927-1950), James B. Duke Professor of Economics (1950-1967), and chairman of the Department of Economics and Business Administration (1937-1957).

From 1920 through 1958, Hoover studied, taught and undertook research in the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. His long history of government service began in 1933 when he became economic advisor to the Department of Agriculture. During World War II, Hoover was an Office of Strategic Services official for Northern Europe and Poland, and oversaw the invasion of Germany from those areas for the O.S.S.

After the war, as chairman of the German Standard of Living Board and advisor to General Lucius Clay, Hoover prepared the Hoover Report, which established Germany's postwar level of production. He was an active participant in the implementation of the Marshall Plan, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. In 1947, Hoover was awarded the Medal of Freedom.

Professionally, Hoover was a member of the Southern Economic Association, the American Economic Association, the Association for Comparative Economics. He was a fellow of the Royal Economic Society. Hoover served as President of the S.E.A. in 1937 and of the A.E.A. in 1953, the first Southerner so honored. In 1965, Hoover was awarded the A.E.A. Distinguished Fellow Award. His publications were prodigious, with eight books to his credit and one hundred articles.

His books include: Economic Life of Soviet Russia; Germany Enters The Third Reich ; Dictators and Democracies ; International Trade and Domestic Employment ; Economic Resources and Policies of the South ; and The Economy, Liberty, and the State . His autobiography, Memoirs of Capitalism, Communism and Nazism, was published in 1965. He contributed numerous articles to newspapers, magazines and professional journals.

Hoover served as President of the American Economic Association (the first Southerner to attain that distinction), the Comparative Economics Association, and the Southern Economic Association; and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Economic Society. Hoover is widely accepted as the founder of the field of comparative economics. Socially, Hoover was a member of several prestigious clubs, including the Century Club of New York, the Cosmos Club and Gridiron Club, both of Washington, D.C., the Watauga Club of North Carolina, and the Newcomen Society and Question Club of Duke University.

Hoover married Faith Miriam Sprole in 1919. They had two daughters, Carol Faith and Sylvia Joan. Hoover retired from Duke University in 1966 and died in 1974.

Parts of the Biographical Note were adapted from Calvin Bryce Hoover, http://www.econ.duke.edu/History/Hoover/hoover.html

From the guide to the Calvin Bryce Hoover Papers, 1922-1970, (University Archives, Duke University)

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Subjects:

  • Communism
  • Economists
  • World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects
  • Reconstruction (1939-1951)
  • Economic history
  • Economics
  • Comparative economics
  • Economists--Correspondence
  • Economics--Study and teaching (Higher)

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)