Harry S. Truman
Wife: Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace
(1885-1982), on June 28, 1919
Kids: Mary Margaret Truman (1924- )
Pets: Feller the unwanted dog (adopted by Truman's
personal physician); Mike, an Irish setter (belonged
to Margaret Truman)
Bio: Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972), was the 33rd
President Of The United States. On May 8, 1884, Truman
was born the oldest of three children in Lamar, Missouri.
The familys financial situation prevented him
from going to college, and his severe vision problems
disallowed his entry into the military. He became an
active participant in Democratic politics, and he joined
several other organizations, including the Masons, that
later helped him as a politician.
In 1919, Truman married Elizabeth (Bess) Wallace and
turned to politics to support his wife. Holding a variety
of positions for several years, he finally landed a
seat in the US Senate in 1934. As a senator he supported
Franklin Roosevelt in foreign as well as domestic affairs.
In the 1944 elections, Roosevelt rewarded his loyalty
with an invitation to run as vice-president.
Truman entered the Presidency when Roosevelt died, and
he felt ill-prepared. But he was determined to carry
out Roosevelt's policies. Truman made the extremely
controversial decision to use atomic bombs against Japan,
believing that they would end the war quickly and save
lives. The two bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki brought the war to an end on August 14.
After the war, Truman quickly turned a majority of his
attention to domestic affairs. He pushed to continue
and expand the New Deal, soon labeling his program the
Fair Deal. He also fought for civil rights for blacks,
but was largely unsuccessful. One area he did change
was segregation in the armed services.
Truman offered a vigorous campaign in the election of
1948 and won against Dewey, the Republican candidate.
He enjoyed a long retirement and retained some prominence
in the political scene. He died at the age of 88 in
Kansas City, Missouri, on Dec. 26, 1972.