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Harry S. Truman

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:



Popular Votes

Electoral Votes


Harry S. Truman




Thomas E. Dewey




Strom Thurmond



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)

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 Table of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States - MSN Encarta

Grolier Online has created this resource from its collection of print articles in Encyclopedia Americana. Contains a full biography, written by Richard S. Kirkendall of Indiana University, along with suggestions for further reading.

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)

RealAudio | MP3 (582K)

From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University under the leadership of Dr. Maurice Crane.

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 theNational 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.




Harry S. Truman

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


Elizabeth "Bess" Truman