J. Edgar Hoover

Government Official / Political Figure
Date Of Birth:
1 January 1895
Date Of Death:
2 May 1972
Place Of Birth:
Washington, D.C.
Best Known As:
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1924-72
John Edgar Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) and served in that post from the time he was 29 years old until his death at the age of 77. J. Edgar Hoover began working in U.S. government service in 1913, first at the Library of Congress, then at the Justice Department. During World War I, Hoover worked for the Bureau of Investigation, keeping statistical records of immigrants for the Alien Enemy Bureau. A vigorous anti-communist, Hoover quickly moved up the agency's ranks in the postwar period, and by 1924 was appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation (later called the Federal Bureau of Investigation). He held the post until 1972, an administration that lasted through eight presidential administrations, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon. Hoover had a reputation for extreme vigilance in the face of crime and political subversion, vigilance which may have tilted over into abuse of power. During Hoover's tenure the F.B.I. kept files on just about everybody, from gangsters and spies to cultural figures like John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marilyn Monroe and Eldridge Cleaver. J. Edgar Hoover has been a controversial figure in the decades since his death, and there has been much speculation about his personal life, family background and dictatorial rule over the Bureau. In particular, his close friendship with Clyde Tolson, his assistant director at the F.B.I., has sparked rumors that Hoover may have been gay. Given his political power over five decades, Hoover is a central figure in the history of scandal and U.S. politics.
Extra Credit

J. Edgar Hoover never married. He bequeathed his estate to Clyde Tolson, who later (per Wikipedia) was “buried a few yards away from Hoover in the Congressional Cemetery” in Washington, D.C.

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