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US Presidents
Harry Truman

What was President Truman's middle name?

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January 19, 2009 6:16AM

Harry S. Truman did not have a middle name. The S stood for a compromise between the names of his two grandfathers -- Anderson Shippe Truman and Solomon Young. There has been considerable debate whether Truman's middle initial should be written with or without a period. Truman himself said more than once that it did not matter--that it could be written either way. See, for example, the illustration of Truman's letter of August 19, 1970, to (later) Congressman James E. Rogan in Rogan's 2004 autobiography "Rough Edges." Except for early in his life and in the last few years of his life, when the middle initial in his signature became essentially printed, Truman never signed his full signature using a period after the "S". When he signed his initials, though, he sometimes signed "HST" and sometimes signed "H.S.T."