Little Bits of History

J. Edgar Hoover

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 10, 2012

J. Edgar Hoover

May 10, 1924: John Edgar Hoover becomes the 6th Director of the Bureau of Investigation. Hoover was born in 1895 and was 29 when he rose to the directorship. He got a law degree from The George Washington University in 1917 and during his schooling became interested in Anthony Comstock, a New York City US Postal Inspector famous for campaigns against fraud and vice. After graduation and during World War I, Hoover began working for the Justice Department. He was quickly promoted and in 1921 he joined the Bureau of Investigation as a deputy head. He was made acting director when William Buns was removed after allegations of being involved in the Teapot Dome scandal.

Calvin Coolidge appointed Hoover to the director job when the Bureau had about 650 employees, 441 of them Special Agents. In the early 1930s a series of bank robberies were carried out by numerous gangs throughout the Midwest. The banks were not held in the highest esteem and many of the criminals were thought of as Robin Hoods in America. This was especially true if the robbers also destroyed debt records as they carried out their robberies. John Dillinger was treated as a hero in the press. As bandits crossed state lines, a national resource was needed to track them.

By the end of the 1930s with the Bureau’s powers broadening, the agency was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They kept Hoover in the leadership role. He not only led the newly named organization, he further expanded it by increasing recruitment and creating the FBI Laboratory, used to examine evidence. Hoover remained the head of the FBI until his death in 1972, having served under eight Presidents.

Today, the FBI employs 35,664 people with 13,412 of them serving as Special Agents and 20,420 support professionals working as intelligence analysts, language specialists, and other specialists. Their annual budget is $7.9 billion and today they are led by Robert S. Mueller who became Director in 2001. The national headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. and is named for Hoover. The agents hired today must meet rigorous standards before being assigned to any of more than 400 resident agencies or more than 50 international offices.

Banks are an almost irresistible attraction for that element of our society which seeks unearned money.

No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family.

The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.

Justice is incidental to law and order. – all from J. Edgar Hoover

Also on this day:

I Think I Can – In 1869 the First US Transcontinental Railroad is completed.
Before Hillary – In 1872, Victoria Woodhull was nominated to run for the US Presidency.
Longest Bridge in the World – In 1969, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened.

One Response

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  1. Bobby Dias said, on May 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

    When I had the 3rd half-hour of The Tonight Show(Jack Paar era), Mr Hoover phoned me and said to me: “I should lock you up for making fun of the Pope(John XXIII) by calling him “The Giggler” but thank you for showing that anybody can be talked about in America- too many are afraid to talk to me”. Talking with him a few times I realized that Mr. Hoover was a lonely man because he did his job too much and too well.


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