Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) 

As Vice President under Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman became after his death the 33rd President of the United States.

Truman was responsible for the atomic bomb dropping of Japan and he led the United States into Cold War with the Soviet Union.

At the age of 22 to 23, Truman took care of his parents' farm in Missouri and during the First World War he was in the Army.

Since the 1920s, Truman turned to politics by committing himself to the democratic party. As a chairman of the "Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program", he reached great prestige.

Wife: Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace (1885-1982), wedding on June 28, 1919

Children: Mary Margaret (1924-)

Profession: civil servant, farmer

Presidential orientation: Democrat

Presidential salary: USD 75,000/year (1949 increased to USD 100,000/year + USD 50,000 expenses)

Results of the presidential election in 1948:


 Popular Votes

Electoral Votes

 Harry S. Truman



 Thomas E. Dewey 



 Strom Thurmond 




Vice President: Alben W. Barkley (1949-1953)

Presidency (1945-1953):

Shorty after his accession to office in 1945, he took an active part as the new head of government in the Potsdam Conference, the meeting of the three main Allies of World War II, and signed the Charter of the United Nations. In the same year for the first and only time Truman used atomic bombs, which he dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In terms of domestic policy after World War II Truman had to deal with the rising inflation and social tensions.

In 1947, he announced his foreign policy known as the Truman Doctrine before the Congress, which caused the Cold War. In addition, he encouraged the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program, ERP), the supporting measures for the reconstruction of Western Europe, and finally signed a corresponding law in 1948.

Furthermore, Truman was involved in the foundation of the NATO, the CIA and the realization of the BerlinAirBridge.

On November 1 in 1950 someone made an attempt on Harry S. Truman’s life and his bodyguard was killed. Truman remained unharmed.

After his elimination of the presidential office Truman retired from politics. Harry S. Truman died on December 26, 1972 in Kansas City, Kansas.

Points of interest:

The “S” in Harry S. Truman’s name is not an abbreviation for a middle name, but for the initial of his two grandfathers (Anderson Shippe Truman and Solomon Young). Truman’s parents could not decide on a middle name (Shippe or Solomon) and therefore they took only the initial “S”. Although the “S” stands for no shortcut, Truman put a full stop at the end.

- Truman was the third left handed among the U.S. Presidents.

Nickname: Give 'Em Hell Harry 

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties." (Harry S. Truman)