American history is filled with rags-to-riches stories. Herbert Hoover's story is as great as any of them. He is born in poverty, orphaned at 10, goes to Stanford on a scholarship, gets rich mining in Australia and Britain, saves Belgium from famine, becomes US President, loses his re-election due to the Great Depression, and spends the rest of his life in obscurity.

Scott Alexander's review of Hoover's biography goes over the life of this fascinating man in more detail.