Harry S Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Lamar. His family could not decide on his middle name, but since both alternatives began with "S," Truman adopted the middle initial by itself. After graduating from high school in Independence MO, he worked on a variety of jobs before managing his family's farm from 1906 to 1917. He served in France during World War I. After the war, he returned to Missouri.
In 1934, Truman was elected to the United States Senate, to which he was re-elected in 1940. In 1944, Truman replaced Henry Wallace on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and thus became President on Roosevelt's death in 1945. Truman made the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. Despite postwar dissatisfaction with the Democratic record, Truman engineered an upset victory over Thomas Dewey in 1948. In 1950, he led the United States into the Korean War. Although not constitutionally prevented, he declined to run again in 1952 and returned home, dying at Kansas City on Dec 26, 1972.