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J(ohn) Edgar Hoover
(January 1, 1885 - February 5, 1972) U.S.A.

Edgar Hoover



Hoover studied law at George Washington University and graduated in 1917. John Edgar Hoover was the sixth director of the Bureau of Investigation and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the agency that he helped create in 1935. As director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington, D.C. from 1924 to his death, that is for 48 years, he built up a powerful network for the detection of organized crime.

Edgar HooverHe served under eight American Presidents, and under his leadership the powers of the Bureau were greatly extended. His drive against alleged Communist activities after World War II has brought much criticism over abusing his power and exceeding the jurisdiction of the FBI.

During his tenure as Director, which lasted until his death in 1972, Hoover built the organization into the force that it is today largely by exceeding the FBI's jurisdiction, harassing political dissenters, keeping secret files on figures across the cultural landscape, and collecting evidence through illegal means.

J. Edgar Hoover referred to homosexuals as "sex deviants." That didn't stop the G-man from having an intimate forty-four-year relationship with his assistant Clyde Tolson, nor from being spotted at a Plaza Hotel party reportedly wearing " . . . a black chiffon dress, very short with ruffles, and black lace stockings, high high shoes, a black curly wig, and black false eyelashes." Hoover hung photos of nude women, including Marilyn Monroe, on the walls of his home. He used them as a "test" to determine the sexual orientation of male visitors.

Hoover was notorious for keeping dossiers on the sexual activities and preferences of public figures, including Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Mayors, celebrities, and civil rights leaders. It could be said that his obsession with collecting information was a form of self-defense against those who might expose his own secrets.

Among many other targets, Hoover's FBI obsessively tracked the "homosexual threat" in the mid-twentieth century. Not only did the agency cultivate evidence on federal employees suspected to be homosexuals, but early gay rights pioneers faced embedded FBI informants and surveillance of groups like Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis, and ONE, Inc.

While Hoover's disregard for civil liberties generally is galling, his focus on early gay rights activists is notable because Hoover was, by virtually all accounts, himself a homosexual. "By the late 1960s," David Carter explains, "not only was Hoover's homosexuality whispered rather widely in the homosexual world but also [] Hoover was, understandably, extremely sensitive about any public suggestion of this information."

He took great pains to eliminate such suggestions. There also is substantial evidence tying Hoover to prominent organized crime figures who ran sex rings for well-known, but closeted, gay men. For more, see Carter's "Stonewall," and Anthony Summer's "Official and Confidential."

Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover (left) and his lover Clyde Tolson (right), Atlantic City, New Jersey, ca. 1935

And Hoover had a long-term relationship with Clyde Tolson, who had been with the FBI for eighteen months when Hoover made him Assistant Director in 1930. For the next forty years, the men were inseparable; they worked, dined, entertained, and vacationed together. J. Edgar Hoover died of a heart attack on May 2, 1972; he was seventy-seven. He left the bulk of his $551,500 estate to his lover Clyde Tolson and the men are buried a few yards from each other.


Sources: http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/ - et alii

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