Guest Photo: Roger Staubach and J. Edgar Hoover


To celebrate the return of NFL football this week, our friend Sally Mott Freeman has given us this gem of a photo showing none less that Roger Staubach, star quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys during the 1970s, standing with J. Edgar Hoover, Director-for-Life of the FBI.  The man wearing glasses on the left is Sally’s Dad,  then-retired Navy Rear Admiral William C. Mott, who happened to be the one who brought them together.

How?  Here’s what the official FBI photo caption said:  “On December 15, 1965, Ensign Roger T. Staubach, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, was photographed with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover during his visit to FBI Headquarters.  Ensign Staubach was accompanied by Rear Admiral William C. Mott, USN (Retired), Executive Vice President, United States Independent Telephone Association, Washington, D.C.  Shown in Mr. Hoover’s Office, left to right, are: Admiral Mott, Ensign Staubach and Mr. Hoover.”

But, of course, there was more to the story….

Hoover was a huge sports fan — especially fond of horses at Pimlico and boxing at Madison Square Garden.  And Roger Staubach in 1965 had just graduated Annapolis a huge star.  He led Navy football to a 9-1 season in1963, back-to-back wins over Army, a 41-0 thrashing of Cornell, capped by winning the Heisman Trophy.    He also took his military duties seriously.  Drafted in the 10th round in 1964 by the Dallas Cowboys, Staubach insisted on first serving his promised three years in the Navy, including a one-year deployment in Viet Nam.

As for Admiral Mott, according to what he told his daughter Sally, he had been serving in the early 1960s in the Pentagon as the Navy JAG (Judge Advocate General) when Hoover sent agents over to alert him that the FBI had uncovered evidence that could potentially embarrass the Navy.  Hoover had learned that the Philadelphia mafia had infiltrated the concession stands at the Annapolis football stadium, with possible attempted bribes to some people in the Naval Academy athletic department.  (We don’t know if anyone ever actually accepted the bribes.)  The FBI was preparing to announce prosecutions and wanted to avoid blind-siding Navy officials.

Hoover’s team apparently rooted out the bad guys quickly, and Mott got to know The Director.   A few years later, when the Naval Academy Foundation, a non-profit athletic and scholarship endowment program, had a meeting in Washington, Mott was more than happy to repay the favor by bringing the Navy’s young football star for a visit.

Roger Staubach would play eleven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1969 through 1979), lead them to nine winning seasons, four Super Bowls, and play in six Pro Bowls.  Known for his calm in engineering breath-taking endings, he managed to lead the Cowboys during his years as quarterback to 23 game-winning drives (15 comebacks) in the fourth quarter, including 17 in the final two minutes or overtime.

I have not checked yet whether Hoover kept a file on Staubach once he started playing with the Cowboys (or for that matter one on Admiral Mott).  Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Happy football watching.  Go Skins !!!  How about that RGIII !!!

Own Clyde Tolson’s actual apartment ! Yes, this is FOR REAL !!

The Marlyn building, 3901 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. — just a short walk from J. Edgar Hoover’s own home on 30th Place, NW.

Yes it’s true.  The actual apartment of Clyde Tolson, long-time friend, companion, associate (and more?) of long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, is now for sale and your’s for the tantalizing, reduced price of $379,900.  Thanks to our friend Ryan Stroschein for sending us the link to this amazing real estate listing.  Here’s how the agent describes it:

Hoover and Tolson with matching hats, 1950s.
          “Reduced 14K!  Historic 2 BR condo 
             w/ updated kitchen & Ba.  In
             James Goode’s book Best Addresses”
             Unit 515 @ The Marlyn was a long
             term residence of FBI Dir. J. Edgar
             Hoover’s closest colleague – Assoc.
             Dir. Clyde Tolson.  The unit 
             has a sense of openness & old world
             charm w/ a DR leading to step    
             down LR w/ a picture window
             to  enjoy sunset views. Garage
             pking & storage unit. Pets OK.”

And yes, the apartment is just a short walk or drive from Hoover’s own home during the period on 30th Place, NW.

Interested?  Here’s a link to the real estate listing with lots of photos.  Happy shopping !!

HOOVER: A journalist’s view — Charles Elliott on searching J. Edgar’s trash.

Another great comment I received on my recent Washington Post article “Five Myths about J. Edgar Hoover,” came from Charles Elliott, a journalist at the time who participated in a key investigation of Hoover.  Here’s his full description of the episode from his blog Clarity Research: Ruminations of a researcher/writer.  He’s given us permission to reprint it here:  

Columnist Jack Andrerson, circa 1970.  Anderson
reached an average 40 million readers through his
“Washington Merry-Go Round” column, and had
a proud spot on President Nixon’s “Enemies List.”

 When I saw it recently, Clint Eastwood’s interesting new film, “J. Edgar,” stirred old memories for me. I know firsthand that he got at least one thing wrong, and missed another major opportunity to accurately portray long-time FBI director Hoover in his last days. 

In 1971, I was a young reporter in Washington, D.C. Eager to prove my investigative reporting chops in the big leagues, I had just transitioned to a position as a leg man for columnist and ABC TV personality Jack Anderson. Anderson had heard that President Richard Nixon wanted to replace the top G-man. So Anderson decided to put Hoover under surveillance using the same techniques that the FBI was then known to be using against Jane Fonda and others accused of no crimes but being harassed by the government for opposing its policies, especially the Vietnam War. 
I was sent out to interview Hoover’s neighbors in his upscale Northwest Washington neighborhood, stake out his house, follow his chauffeured limo, watch him and his number two man, Clyde Tolson, as they ate lunch every day at that same corner table in the Rib Room at the Mayflower Hotel up on Connecticut, and pick up Hoover’s trash.
There is a reference in the film to the possibility of going to Tolson’s “house” for dinner. But I know firsthand that Tolson actually had a highrise apartment in 1971, not a house. I know because Anderson had heard that Tolson owned a collection of antique vehicles formerly belonging to major crime figures arrested by the FBI. So he sent me out to look. Tolson’s building had a parking structure underneath, I found, and there were, indeed, several antique black vehicles from the 1930s parked there.
The Eastwood film does not include any reference to Anderson or my work for him. But at least two major biographies of Hoover included an account of my escapades picking up Hoover’s trash. I did so on several occasions, the most notable being one morning with a reporter from Washingtonian Magazine riding along with me.
The L-shaped alley adjacent to Hoover’s two-story brick house ran behind to the west and then on the north to the street east of the house. When we pulled up to the trash cans in the alley beside the house, we noticed that Hoover’s limo was still at the curb out front, engine running, and a film crew from ABC was across the street. Apparently the film crew wanted to grab a quick interview with Hoover on the way to work, but Hoover was refusing to come out of the house until they left.

Hoover’s official car in 1971, a Cadillac Fleetwood,
recently sold on eBay for $6,677.77.
Click here for that story.

Nonetheless, I opened the trunk of a large car I had borrowed for the occasion, and began loading Hoover’s trash into the car. Suddenly the film crew noticed me and began filming. That alerted the people in the house to my presence. Within a minute or two, Hoover’s chauffeur — a tall black man who seemed to be nearly seven feet tall — came to the side gate and loomed over me.
“What do you think you are doing?” he demanded.
I knew the applicable law at the time in Washington was English common law, which held anything put out as trash to have been abandoned by the former owner. Anyone could legally pick it up.
“He put it out to be picked up and I am picking it up,” I said simply, continuing to load the car. Fortunately the film crew continued to film. My chances of being assaulted or at least physically restrained seemed diminished by their presence. I flashed them a “V” for victory.
Meanwhile, my companion from Washingtonian remained in the front passenger seat in the car, but he was now shaking like a leaf.
“Don’t you think you’ve got enough?!?” he kept asking piteously. “Don’t you think you’ve got enough?”

Charles Elliot in 1971 standing by Hoover’s trash can, in 
alley on north side of Hoover’s Washington, D.C. home. 
Photo by ABC News.

When I finished my work to my satisfaction, I closed the trunk and we drove away.

Anderson reported on the basis of these forays into Hoover’s wasteland that the top G-man meticulously wrote menus for his housekeeper to prepare on small stationery emblazoned, “From the Desk of the Director.” While he and Clyde generally had a light lunch at the Rib Room, evening meals were heavy with beef and rich desserts. Although Hoover had railed against the evils of drink in WTCU publications, the trash included miniature Jack Daniels Black Label Whiskey bottles. The public and private man seemed greatly at variance. And there were Gelusil packages, too. Anderson suggested tongue-in-cheek that it was possible Hoover no longer had the stomach for his job.
Hoover responded dourly, “The only time I have indigestion is when I read a certain man’s column!”  
From my perspective, the major thing the Eastwood film missed, though, was Hoover’s severe paranoia in his last years. Hoover’s neighbors told me that he would not enter or leave his waiting car at the curb any time a long-haired youthful neighbor was anywhere within sight. And they pointed out that he placed a hat on the rear shelf of the limo, then sat on the other side and hunkered down. At the Rib Room, I also observed, Hoover and Tolson sat side-by-side with their backs to a wall, and vigilantly faced the entry way. The last time Hoover saw me there, he scowled at me.
He must have been particularly shocked when he began trying to find out who I was, and learned that my roommate was the son of an FBI Special Agent stationed in Oregon, and that the large apartment we shared with two other young men had been rented in the agent’s name. I do know that the agent was soon on the phone to his son, and the son made certain that I moved out. But not before a couple of men — one older, one younger — showed up with a large old Graphflex camera outside the building as I arrived home from the office. Since Anderson by then had written about my work regarding Hoover, I considered the possibility that they were with a wire service or some other news organization newly interested in my story.
“Who are you guys with?” I asked as they blinded me with the flash, taking pictures.
“Oh,” said the older fellow in ominous tones, “we’re just neighbors!” 
While taking the last of my things out of that apartment one day when my roommate was absent, I found a letter from Hoover to my former pal. “Thank you for your actions in regard to this Charles Elliott matter,” Hoover wrote, adding to my astonishment that he especially appreciated my roommate’s “concern for my personal safety.” 
I also know Eastwood’s film got the entry hall of Hoover’s house all wrong, since I went to the door one morning and looked in through the screen while Hoover was away at work and a cleaning crew was in there with everything wide open. That entry way was sparse in the film, but the real one would have provided a telling indication of his character, since immediately to the right inside was a pedestal with an imposing, life-sized bust of J. Edgar Hoover. And the wall behind it was covered with such things as framed letters of commendation, plaques awarded for achievement and photos of Himself posing with presidents including Harding, Coolidge, Roosevelt, and Truman.
After his death, Hoover’s closed coffin was placed in the Rotunda of the Capitol,  and more than 25,000 visitors passed by to pay their final respects. The coffin was kept closed. A camera was set up at the bier, and everyone who passed by was filmed. Someone was making a movie, checking to see who showed up. As I recall, I smiled into the camera. That time, too.  

Chuck Elliott is a retired journalist who served as a featured daily columnist, investigative reporter and editor in local news and was managing editor of the nation’s leading trade magazine for the propane industry. He has three published books on Southern California history, is a nationally published poet with more than 280 poems online at The Beautyseer Channel on YouTube, an award-winning fine art photographer, and freelances as a writer and marketing consultant. Visit him at Linked (, read his Clarity Research blog,  and check out his poetry on YouTube.  

HOOVER: Andrew Simpson on J. Edgar as a student at George Washington University

Hoover at the time he attended
George Washington University Law School

Another great comment we received was from Andrew Simpson, who wrote this piece originally in 2009 for Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies, “Schooling J. Edgar: The Shaping of Hoover’s Legal Philiosophy at The George Washington University.”  He gives us permission to print this condensed version here.  For the full article, contact Andrew below.

        From 1913 to 1917, the man who would become one of the most powerful and controversial figures in American history was a mere law student, wrestling with the same kind of work that hundreds of thousands of students have done since. This was not J. Edgar Hoover, fighter of subversives and criminals, but John Edgar Hoover, a young man in his late teens and early twenties trying to pass Contracts, Torts, and the assortment of other classes he needed to get his law degree.

       Hoover attended The George Washington University Law School starting in the fall of 1913, immediately after graduating from Central High School in Washington, D.C.  He chose GW because he could help support his family by working as a clerk in the Library of Congress by day and taking his classes in the early evening.  So when Hoover sat down at the New Masonic Temple at the intersection of 13th Street, New York Avenue, and H Street (the home of GW’s law school from 1910 to 1920) in September 1913 for his first class, he was just a boy of 18.

       When J. Edgar Hoover entered law school, the legal education system was in a state of transformation.The George Washington University adopted the case method of instruction around 1905-1906, when professors visited other schools and witnessed how effective it was when combined with the Socratic method of questioning students.
A meticulous student 
      The methodical and meticulous Hoover who reveled in organizing and cataloguing information as a
career bureaucrat probably enjoyed the formalized structure of the case method as a student. His law
school notebooks contain thousands of pages of notes, one page per case (sometimes with glued-additions). He followed the same process for each case: write out the plaintiff’s and defendant’s claims, summarize the details of the case, indicate the relevant point of law under consideration, and indicate the court’s ruling on the matter. Under this section, he always included a “notes” section in which he would draw out the lesson, rule, or legal principle to be derived from the case. Sometimes he would even include an opinion on the ruling, although it is not clear whether the occasional “this decision is not good” or “the opinion in this case is very good and of great use” came from his textbook, his professor, or Hoover himself.

      According to his transcript held at The George Washington University registrar’s office, Hoover’s academic performance during his first year was mediocre at best: four B’s, four C’s, and one D.  Over the years his grades steadily improved as he buried himself in his work. In a 1953 profile of Hoover,
a former law school classmate described him as “slim, dark, and intense. He sat off by himself against the wall and always had the answers. None of us got to know him very well.”  By the time he graduated with his L.L.B. in 1916, he was tied for 15th place in class ranking out of a group of 67. In his final year at GW,during which he worked to receive his L.L.M., his marks were all A’s and B’s.

       Hoover’s highest marks came during his final semester at GW from Bankruptcy. He scored a 98%.

Impact of Professor Gregory
       The professor whose legal philosophy might have had the most impact on shaping Hoover’s views was Charles Noble Gregory, dean of the law school from 1911-1914 and Hoover’s contracts professor.h  Gregory was not only a founding member of the American Society of International Law and former president of the American Association of Law Schools, but also was consulted about various international and domestic situations as they arose. For example, he weighed in on the liability of the White Star Company for the Titanic tragedy in 1912. The White House even solicited Gregory’s opinion on the constitutionality of the national budget proposal that same year.

       During the lead-up to World War I, Gregory was an outspoken critic of German submarine warfare on neutral U.S. ships, arguing that Americans had the right to trade with whoever they wanted.  Gregory’s legal ideas intersect with Hoover’s philosophy on the subjects of alien immigrants and radicalism.

       Charles Noble Gregory had demonstrated in the past that deportation of anarchists based on their political beliefs was entirely legal — a key foundation to Hover’s later role in the Justice Departm,ent’s 1919-1920 Palmer Raids.

       Although we may not know how much he discussed his views on alien radicals in class, Gregory
illuminated his interpretation of the law clearly in an article he wrote for the Juridical Review entitled, “A Question of International Law in the Deportation of Aliens.” Before moving on to the trickier international issues with deportations, he examined the settled case law in the United States. He unequivocally determined that the Supreme Court has “upheld the validity of a statute for the deportation of alien anarchists” and quotes from a case that decrees “The constitutionality of the legislation in question in its general aspect is no longer open to discussion in this Court.” Going further, he pointed out that cases involving aliens “of the excludable class could not be reviewed by the Courts on habeus corpus…” Summing up this argument, Gregory writes, “It seems that the lawfulness of exclusion or deportation of aliens…must be taken as quite fully settled.” 

     A few years after writing the Juridical Review article, Gregory presented a paper at the meeting
of the American Society of International Law entitled “The Expulsion of Aliens,” in which he stated that “the maintenance of a rigorous surveillance of anarchists” and the statute “for deporting them [was] held lawful and constitutional.” 

       If the case method is about extracting legal principles from settled case law, then the young Hoover, sitting in a classroom during his first year, would no doubt have absorbed the principle that the United States had every right to deport alien radicals.

Many influences
       We will never know precisely how significantly these men contributed to Hoover’s view of the law.  No doubt there were many sources and experiences that shaped this complex man – his parents, his religion, his jobs, his bosses and mentors. The Bureau celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008, and upon that occasion it is worth considering those who schooled the young man who, one day, would lead it for almost half the period of its existence.

Andrew Simpson is a historical consultant at History Associates, Inc.    For the full article or any questions or comments, please contact him at or else post a comment here.

HOOVER: Lane Bonner with the view of an FBI veteran

One of the more detailed, thoughtful comments I received on my recent Washington Post article “Five Myths about J. Edgar Hoover,” came from Lane Bonner, a long-time FBI agent, clerk, and spokesman, now living in Florida.  Mr. Bonner has graciously given me permission to publish it here: 

J. Edgar Hoover (right) with President Lyndon B. Johnson.

I worked for Mr. Hoover and the FBI in Washington, D.C. as a clerk from 1957-1962; Miami Field Office, 1962 – 1968 (Technical Surveillance Clerk in the Organized Crime Program); as a Special Agent, Oklahoma City Field Office 1968-1969, Baltimore Field Office 1969-1981 (also as a Supervisory Special Agent on the criminal side of the house, and the division Media Rep (PIO); at FBI Headquarters (HQ) as a national spokesman; and as Chief of the FBI-HQ Press Office 1986-1988 when I retired. Since 1990, I have been a Special Investigator under contract to the FBI (background investigations).

During my HQ days as a clerk and as an agent, I met many of Mr. Hoover’s early officials. I also did considerable research on Mr. Hoover’s stewardship of the FBI. As a senior tour leader at FBI-HQ and because I had prior military experience, I was assigned by Mr. DeLoach to assist (driving, etc) various journalists covering the FBI.

My exceptions/additions to your article (“5 Myth about J Edgar Hoover“) are these:

Intimidating Officials
1. There is absolutely no evidence that Mr. Hoover blackmailed or attempted to intimidate any officials. Conversely, Mr. Hoover had an excellent relationship with most of the congressional committee chairmen.  He knew how to keep Congress happy, which was essential to getting his budgets approved. These chairmen knew exactly what the FBI was doing in those days. Unfortunately, much of their dialogue is not in the public domain,

Civil Rights

2. Having been the clerical complaint clerk (first point of contact with FBI for citizens referring non-emergency matters) in the Miami Field Office 1966-1968 (when President Johnson shut down our wiretap/eavesdropping program which was administered according to existing law at that time), I was well briefed on the FBI’s response to civil rights matters.  These were given the highest priority of the time (2 weeks for a full-field investigation). At that time, the FBI was making great headway in discreetly and overtly investigating and neutralizing the KKK and other radical groups according to the law at that time.

Much of the criticism toward Mr. Hoover’s civil rights policy stemmed from a response memo from Mr. Hoover to a member of Congress inquiring about Mr. Hoover’s views on expanding the jurisdiction of the FBI.  (This memo, as I recall, was written in the late 40’s). Mr. Hoover honestly responded that by increasing the FBI’s jurisdiction in the area of civil rights, the ability of the FBI to investigate other priorities ESTABLISHED BY CONGRESS, including the investigation/recovery of stolen motor vehicles, a very important matter to representatives from auto manufacturing states, would be greatly diminished. That memo has been held against Mr. Hoover by certain journalists since the 70’s.

It was alleged that Mr. Hoover was dragged kicking and screaming into the CR arena. Mr. Hoover, I’m told, was generally against the expansion of Federal powers/jurisdiction. Don’t forget, too, it was the FBI under Mr. Hoover that solved the murders of the three civil rights workers in Mississippi, etc., etc,

Dr. King
3. Mr. Hoover was not investigating the civil rights movement or its leaders in the 1960s.  There was a legitimate investigation of the CPUSA (Communist Party USA) that led us to Dr. King. The CPUSA was allegedly attempting to exploit the civil rights movement. It was Robert Kennedy who authorized the wiretaps of MLK,

Public Relations

Dr. Martin Luther King speaking in the mid-1960s.

4. Mr. Hoover knew the value of and had an effective public affairs apparatus. It was not designed to enhance his reputation, it was intended to engender public respect for and encourage public cooperation with the FBI – period. Mr. Hoover knew that public cooperation was essential to getting the FBI mission accomplished.

I am not saying Mr. Hoover was perfect, who is? But, as a loyal and patriotic American who turned a corrupt and inefficient  agency into the premier law agency in the world – he deserves an honorable place in history.  I am also amused that Mr. Hoover’s detractors came out of the woodwork only after his death when he was unable to defend himself, following a distinguished career of doing exactly what Congress and the various administrations hired him to do.

Again, thanks for a very good article. Respectfully, Lane Bonner, Jr., Plant City, Florida.

Still more J. Edgar snapshots, including in the White House, 1930s-1970s.

Posing at New York City dog show with contestant.  (No, it’s not his own, though he had dogs most of his life.)
Showing Shirley Temple a comparison microscope in the FBI lab.
A few White House photos:

Standing with John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy.

Confiding with Richard M. Nixon.

Standing behind Franklin Delano Roosevelt (at desk).

Standing behind John F. Kennedy (at desk) and Bobby Kennedy (standing).

Receiving an award from Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Notice Richard Nixon, as VP, standing behind Ike’s shoulder.

J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson — the actual photos

The new film J. Edgar takes the well-known relationship between long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo diCaprio) and his long-time FBI number-two Clyde Tolson  (Armie Hammer) and develops it into a major theme.   What do we actually know about it?  Hoover and Tolson worked together more than 40 years.  They traveled together on vacation and official business, rode to work together, shared lunch nearly every day at Washington’s Mayflower hotel and sometimes even wore matching suits. 

Hoover, at his death, left Tolson most of his estate. Their relationship, by all appearances, was stable, discreet and long-lasting. But what they did physically behind closed doors, if anything, they kept between them.

Photos like these from the 1930s of Hoover and Tolson together, however, tell a story:

Hoover and Tolson are in the middle, wearing matching suits.
Hoover and Tolson attending a prize fight in New York City. 

Again, Hoover and Tolson stand in the middle, with matching suits and spats.

Hoover sits at his desk, and Tolson stands directly behind him, hand on Hoover’s chair.
Hoover and Tolson on vacation.

Tolson and Hoover, as played by Leonardo DiCaprio (on right) and Armie Hammer (on left).

My favorite photo of J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover, circa 8 years old, with his bike.

 For the upcoming new movie J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, here is my favorite picture of the real-life future tough, gruff, civil-liberties-stomping autocratic crime-fighter, J. Edgar Hoover himself.
I spent two years of my life getting to know Hoover while researching and writing  my own book YOUNG J. EDGAR: Hoover the and Red Scare 1919-1920, and found him surprisingly sympathetic in his early years.  

Yes, he grew up with a very dark side:  Hoover would become Director for Life of the FBI, holding the job for 48 years under nine presidents (Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon) from 1924 till his death in 1972.  He would use his secret FBI files to blackmail presidents, senators, and movie stars, and felt no scruples conducting sabotage, black bag jobs, or secret wiretaps against any person or group he considered “subversive.” By the 1960s, this included mostly civil rights leaders and anti-Vietnam War protestors.  He would aid Senator Joe McCarthy in his anti-Communist witch hunts, and remains today a widely hated figure.

DiCaprio as Hoover, looking a bit older,
but still with his bike.

On the good side, he used his organizational brilliance in the late 1920s and 1930s to build the then-dysfunctional Bureau into a modern professional force with scientific methods, a national academy and lab, a Most Wanted List, finger print files, and a strict agent code of conduct.  At his peak, he made the G-Man brand so popular that it was tougher to become a rookie FBI agent than it was to get into an Ivy League college.

How did he get this way?  In the photo, you see Edgar as a shockingly-normal boy playing with his bicycle.  Hoover grew up in the Capitol Hill section of Washington, D.C., son of a lifelong government clerk, youngest of four kids, a spoiled, mother’s favorite.  He sang in his church choir, carried groceries for old ladies, and starred on his high school track, debate, and cadet teams.  He made lots of friends.  His classmates elected him their valedictorian.  He worked his way through Law School and graduated in 1917 as America entered World War I.

What changed Edgar from this normal, smart, eager child of the Jazz Age into the corrupt autocrat of later years?  This was the question behind my own book, Young J. Edgar (which tells of Hoover’s first big assignment in the 1919 Justice Depatment, running the notorious anti-Communist crackdown called the Palmer Raids) and seems to be a key theme of the upcoming Eastwood-DiCaprio film as well.

Enjoy the movie, and please check out the book while you’re at it.  

All things J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s, after having
led the FBI for over 40 years.

This month, we give you all things J. Edgar Hoover: photos, movie links, books excerpts, cartoons, and the rest.  Check this page for the latest, below:

 — Own Clyde Tolson’s actual apartment !  Yes, this is FOR REAL !!

— Hoover: Andrew Simpson on J. Edgar as a student at George Washington University

Hoover: A journalist’s view — Charles Elliott on searching J. Edgar”s trash.

Hoover: The view of an FBI veteran;

Still more snapshots of J. Edgar, including in the White House, 1930s-1970.

More photos of J. Edgar hoover in the 1930s.

J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson — the actual photos

A few cartoons of J. Edgar Hoover.

  — “The Real J. Edgar Hoover,” interview with NPR’s “On Point,” 11/9/2011.

— “Five Myths about J. Edgar Hoover,” Washington Post, 11/9/2011.

Washington Post web conversation on Hoover “5 Myths” article.

–SPECIAL FEATURE: a free peek at Young J. Edgar, the opening chapter in its entirely.

My favorite photo of J. Edgar Hoover 

Guest Photo: Hoover and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach

SNEAK PREVIEW: New edition of YOUNG J. EDGAR now available on

MOVIES: Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover — Looking good so far.

DiCaprio as J. Edgar, from the new movie.

“Mr. Black said he had been interested in Hoover ever since his brother gave him a copy of a book called ‘Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties.’” 
Interview with Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter for the firm “J. Edgar,”  WSJ “Speakeasy,” 11/4/2011.

Hoover in 1924, from the new
edition of Young J. Edgar.