U.S. Presidents / Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman

1884 - 1972

Harry S. Truman

No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.  Truman Doctrine


Harry S. Truman became President of the United States with the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. During his nearly eight years in office, Truman confronted enormous challenges in both foreign and domestic affairs. Truman's policies abroad, and especially toward the Soviet Union in the emerging Cold War, would become staples of American foreign policy for generations. At home, Truman protected and reinforced the New Deal reforms of his predecessor, guided the American economy from a war-time to a peace-time footing, and advanced the cause of African-American civil rights. Historians now rank Truman among the nation's best Presidents.

Fast Facts

Lamar, MO
Farmer, Businessman, Public Official
"Give ’Em Hell Harry"
June 28, 1919, to Elizabeth “Bess” Virginia Wallace (1885–1982)
Mary Margaret (1924–2008)
Independence, MO
Alonzo L. Hamby

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Harry S. Truman.” Accessed June 13, 2024. https://prod.millercenter.org/president/truman.

Professor of History

Alonzo L. Hamby

Professor Hamby is a Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Ohio University.