Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States. The final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II; in the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased, the start of the Cold War. Truman was born in Missouri, and spent most of his youth as a farmer. During World War I, Truman served in combat in France as an artillery officer in his National Guard unit. After the war, he joined the Democratic Party political machine of Tom Pendergast in Kansas City, Missouri. He was elected a county official and in 1934 U.S. senator. He gained national prominence as head of the wartime Truman Committee, which exposed waste, fraud and corruption in wartime contracts.