Talk:J. Edgar Hoover

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Introduction edit[edit]

I have removed the last paragraph from the introduction, which read "However, biographer Kenneth D. Ackerman has written of myths about Hoover." This claim does not add anything to a reader's understanding of Hoover and does not belong in the introduction.

That somebody wrote something about him is not worthy of mention in the introduction. It is apparently intended to modify the preceding paragraph, but it does so only in a very weak and general way. In order to contribute anything relevant, the specific allegations or 'myths' need to be discussed.

Additionally, the source cited does not substantively repudiate the popularly held beliefs it documents (that Hoover was gay, for example), for the most part it just says that such claims can't be proven conclusively. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Funny how rumors and "popular beliefs" are enough to establish "fact" regarding Hoover's intentions and sexuality, but declassified FBI VENONA documents are insufficient to verify accusations that Harry Dexter White was a Soviet spy. That White was never tried and convicted is proof, apparently, of his innocence, but the same does not apply to Hoover. If Soviet cables had been decoded that cited Hoover in sexual congress with other men, it would be accepted ad incontrovertible proof of his sexual orientation, but Harry Dexter White being cited as a spy in decoded Soviet cables is not even worthy of mention, according to most leftists. 2601:7:1580:36:5988:FB3B:D2BD:6062 (talk) 21:29, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Who cares about Hoovers sexuality? Of what possible relevance is it? Then or now? It's what he DID that counts. Like the recent Martin Luther King suicide letter coverage written by Hoover's #3 William Sullivan. Is there iron clad documentary evidence that Hoover had a hand in Sullivan's letter? I would assume not. But I don't need documentary evidence to KNOW that Hoover hated King. I'd expect those documents left on the Ms Gandy express. In Hoover's organization, with a long time loyalist like Sullivan was it possible that Sullivan wrote the letter entirely on his own without Hoover's knowledge? HIGHLY unlikely. After all the letter was hardly a single, standalone event.
As to White's alleged spying activities... I've never seen a syllable here in Wikipedia nor any of the topic books I've read (far too many), as to what White's job was.
One of the most recent "oversights" by the "White was a spy" side is page 259 - 260 in Haynes & Klehr's "Spies." When the Venona cables (1119 - 1121, August 4, 1944) were released White is portrayed as meeting with "agent" Koltsov typically described as a "KGB Agent." Well before the 2009 release of "Spies" it was determined the mysterious Koltsov was actually Nikolai Chechulin (sp?), the Vice Chairman of the Soviet National Bank & a delegate to Bretton Woods that had been held 3 weeks before. Not only is Koltsov = Chechulin not mentioned in "Spies" but neither Koltsov nor Chechulin are mentioned in Haynes's list of cover names (at least the last time I looked). Took me about 5 minutes to find a Bretton Woods group picture containing Chechulin. Since the Soviets did not sign the Bretton Woods agreements, can anyone figure out just WHY White might be meeting with Chechulin?

Pornagraphy and Birth Control[edit]

this article implies that pornagraphy and birth control are a form of fraud and vice. Not the place for such opinions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:13, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I got rid of the ambiguity. Glennconti (talk) 22:34, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Freemasonry source = broken link[edit]

The entire sub-section on Freemasonry requires a [citation needed] or whatnot. (talk) 19:46, 27 October 2011 (UTC) -r.carey

J. Edgar[edit]

Did people who knew him on a first name-basis call him "J. Edgar", or Edgar, or John? Also, why did he go by "J. Edgar" rather than by his first name? Tad Lincoln (talk) 23:31, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Erratic scholarship of Wikipedia[edit]

Everything I know about the life of J. Edgar Hoover I learned watching the movie last night and 5 minutes of reading Wikipedia, and I've put in see-also links to two people who were one person who was arguably very important in Hoover's career. Yet, we have references to 15-second cutaway "Family Guy" gags. Incredible. The pop culture section must go, it's trivia and unreferenced. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Why does this article mention Pancho Villa?[edit]

The article says: "On May 10, 1924, 10 months after the death of Pancho Villa and during the private war of Jesus Herrera ..." But the article has no further mention of Pancho Villa or Jesus Herrera, so why are they mentioned in this passage since they seem to have no relevance to the subject of the article, which is J. Edgar Hoover? It begins to look like someone who is interested in Pancho Villa and Jesus Herrera for their own sake has inserted the references here to promote those topics even though they have no relevance here. Suggest removing the clause "10 months after the death of Pancho Villa and during the private war of Jesus Herrera," — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 4 December 2011 (UTC)


Will any of the admins delete this nonsense? The text appears in the templates for wikiProjects.--В и к и T 13:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Hoover's cryptic filing system[edit]

I saw a documentary a few years ago about the FBI's files on individuals. According to this, the archiving system used for these records was apparently very difficult to understand for outsiders. I was reminded of this when I saw J. Edgar earlier today. Does anyone know more about this? Since this seems to have been something that Hoover himself created or at least had great influence on, it would be very important to mention this in "Legacy".

Hoover's influence on the FBI and its historical records seems like a very important issue. Certainly worthy of far more coverage (at least in this article) than his personal affairs and sexual preferences.

Peter Isotalo 19:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)


Is the following really appropriate as the opening sentence in a detailing of a man's sexuality? (talk) 22:48, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

   A biography by Darwin Porter claims Hoover assembled the largest collection of porn in history.

Portrayals, fair warning[edit]

The 'Portrayals' section needed streamlining and some removal of POV. It is done. In fact: I am proposing the removal of that list in favor of a FEW examples as inline text. If there is no objection I will do that with the section later.—Djathinkimacowboy 08:27, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

It seems like a better idea if I backpedal on this issue right away.... I have seen that significant portrayals of a figure make a nice edition to an article. Even if it is a bulleted list. However, editors please recall that the Internet Movie Database cannot be used as a citation in Wikipedia articles, so anything with imdb has to be removed or cited differently.—Djathinkimacowboy 16:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Pages wanted, not needed[edit]

User:Alarbus: In light of this why not either obtain pages or leave the tags off the text? Page numbers may be needed in your opinion, but they are not the rule at Wikipedia. A citation of that quality as I see used in the article is more than sufficient.—Djathinkimacowboy 09:40, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

*You* cowboy-up and find the page numbers if you want the little blighters off the page. You expect a reader interested in checking the source to read a whole book? If you think that's sufficient, think again. Alarbus (talk) 10:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be wise to find page numbers. I do not understand why this is an issue. Why are the tags being fought over? Jeez, just use Google books and clear this up. Even if there are only snippet views, those can be used artfully to get information.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:12, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
I only came to this pathetic page a few days ago because it was being batted about over on Template talk:cleanup where a bunch of anti-tag editors are seeking to require reasons for cleanup tags and are champing at the bit to remove them. Then mr-lurid-sig-cowboy starts cutting the page needed tags and driving a stake in the ground about the notion that page numbers are not needed. Do check his block log. Alarbus (talk) 10:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please, Alarbus, do not alter other editor's posts as you did above with mine, do not make personal attacks as you have already done, and PAGE NUMBERS ARE NOT REQUIRED. You have been warned about your conduct fairly.—Djathinkimacowboy 10:14, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps A. has a minor problem understanding personal attacks and edit warring - perhaps he ought to see WP:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point.—Djathinkimacowboy 10:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps you don't realise that you've removed the RP tags four times in the last some hours and are easy block bait if I report it at WP:AN3. If you revert your-self. I'll not bother. Alarbus (talk) 10:30, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps you will have a gander at your talk page; also at the article, and see I have restored it to your previous version as you suggested. Also as you suggested, you're right, I have too much on my plate for you to need to take this to ANI or WP:AN3.—Djathinkimacowboy 16:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

"Nude Sunbathing"[edit]

I realize the statement about Hoover sunbathing in the nude is sourced, but I question what it has to do with his alleged homosexuality. Many people sunbathe nude, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. Joefromrandb (talk) 01:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Nude Sunbathing With A Gay Partner Is A Classic Sign of Homosexuality[edit]

It's a sign that they want to look their partner's nude body. Most people wear objects to cover their private parts even when they use hot tubs or saunas. There's even vacation spots for gay couples who want to do so, as even mentioned here: (talk) 16:22, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Nude sunbathing is a classic sign of homosexuality? Are you for real? Setting aside your ridiculous, and ignorant assertion, that's purely your POV. Itsthegoldenratio (talk) 22:00, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Returning to this over a year later, I have removed the offending material. I realize it's sourced, and apparently valid, and I suppose it could be included somewhere in the article if necessary. But using it as evidence of homosexuality is bizarre. Joefromrandb (talk) 10:48, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Allegations of Corruption[edit]

Apparently I don't have access to editing this page, but there should be some mention of the evidence that Hoover was corrupt. There is evidence that he used FBI ghostwriters to write his books on government time, then laundered the royalties of these books and other royalties from television through the FBI Recreational Fund, more than $200,000. I attempted to add this to the "Legacy" section after the first sentence of the first paragraph:

Royalties from this production, as well as numerous books ghostwritten by FBI employees at government expense, were sent to the "FBI Recreational Fund."[1] Little was known about the purpose of this fund, except that Hoover had unlimited access to it and no records of transactions related to it remained after his death; FBI books and television shows earned the fund more than $200,000, yet this money disappeared from the fund without a paper trail.[2] Biographer Curt Gentry speculates that this fund was a means for Hoover to launder money made from books and television using government resources for his personal benefit.[3]

Perhaps someone else could post this if they feel it is legitimate. There is also his use of the FBI exhibition section to do extensive work on his home on government time using the FBI budget. He also established an exclusive relationship with US Recording Company for all FBI surveillance devices which resulted in up to 40-70% price mark-ups, which FBI executives may have shared in. He used an FBI agent to do his tax returns, and this agent reportedly stated that he feared that if anyone detected the amount of tax evasion Hoover had him orchestrate, they could both be sent to prison for life. Hoover was also involved in covering up crimes committed by agents in order to protect the reputation of the FBI, including the suppression of evidence regarding an agent beating his wife, an agent committing a murder, an agent accepting bribes, and an agent's ties to organized crime. This is all referenced in the book I sourced above, J. Edgar Hoover by Curt Gentry.[4]

In fact that volume of corruption allegations may even warrant a separate section. Kilkeel (talk) 21:17, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Kilkeel

  1. ^ Gentry, Curt (1992). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-32128-9. 
  2. ^ Gentry, Curt (1992). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-32128-9. 
  3. ^ Gentry, Curt (1992). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-32128-9. 
  4. ^ Gentry, Curt (1992). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-32128-9. 
Based on the article history, it looks like you added it, then removed it -- yourself. If you feel it is good information, then you should add it. Generally, however, inline citations are much easier for others here to check.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 22:28, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

African American heritage[edit]

Hoover has been referenced as passing to cover African-American heritage. I added the following as references on this: Seán Mac Mathúna, "J. Edgar Hoover had black ancestors" It is noted elsewhere that Hoover was born without a birth certificate, as legally required in 1895 Washington, even though two siblings had certificates. Hoover's was not filed until 1938, when he was 43.Dogru144 (talk) 09:08, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

His 2nd cousin by the name of Millie L. McGhee has spent decades researching the family tree of the Hoover-Allens. She wrore a book, Secrets Uncovered: J. Edgar Hoover Passing, and in 2011 produced a documentary entitled What's Done in the Dark: The Millie L. McGhee Story. McGhee, basically, documents her research with the help of a team of professional researchers, historians, genealogists:
Dr. Bobbi Carlson, PhD
Clinical Director, Trauma Recovery Program
Las Encinas Hospital
Lucious A. Bowser
George Ott
Geneaologist and Historian::::Salt Lake City, Utah

...and a California-based film company. So, her story and research are legit. The progenitors of the family tree include a well known late Mississippi Legislator, minister and slave master Christian Hoover, Sr. born November 24, 1796, and a 16 year old slave he purchased directly off the ship from Africa.

Millie's grandfather Clarence Allen inherited land from his father William Allen. William Allen's father was William Hoover, son of Christian Hoover, Sr. and his daughter-granddaughter Emily Allen, whom Christian Hoover, Sr. conceived with his biological mulatto slave daughter Elizabeth Allen, who was the daughter of Christian Hoover, Sr. and the 16 year old African slave he purchased. Then, Elizabeth Allen leaves Christian Hoover, Sr. and her daughter/sister Emily Allen, to marry Christian Hoover, Sr's (and subsequently her own) distant cousin, another relative by the name of William Hoover. Elizabeth Allen and her distant cousin William Hoover have a son name John Hoover, Emily Allen's half-brother. They move from McComb, Mississippi to the Maryland/Washington, DC area.
Their son John went on to have a son named Dickerson Naylor Hoover, J. Edgar Hoovers OFFICIAL and CLAIMED father and government employee. In the same year Ivery Hoover (see below) died and J.E. got his promotion, Dickerson had to resign from his job due to experiencing a nervous breakdown. It wasn't his first nervous breakdown. He'd been in and out of institutions since 1913 when J. Edgar Hoover had come of age at 18.
The suggested lineage was that Elizabeth Allen married her and her father's distant cousin, William Hoover. Together they had John Hoover. John Hoover later married Cecelia Jane Naylor Hoover. They were the parents of Dickerson Naylor Hoover. Dickerson Naylor HOover would go on to marry Anna (Annie) M. Scheitlin Hoover. Together they had:
  • Dickerson Naylor Hoover, Jr (born 1880)
  • Lillian Hoover (born 1882)
  • John Edgar Hoover (born 1/1/1865)
John Edgar Hoover was biologically fathered by Ivery "Ivy" Hoover, who was also his biological cousin/uncle since his grandfather William Hoover was a distant cousin of Christian Hoover, Sr., Ivery's great-grandfather, and maternal/paternal grandfather.
Meanwhile, back in McComb, Emily Allen, abandoned by her mother Elizabeth, is left with her slave master-father/grandfather and half white-siblings that Christian Hoover, Sr. had with his white wife Mary Hoover. Together, Christian Hoover, Sr. and Mary Hoover birthed 11 children:
  • John (1827-1831)
  • Infant son (1829-1830)
  • Margaret (born 1831)
  • William (1832-1903)
  • Martha (born 1832)
  • Christian (1835-1865)
  • Emily (1838-1900)
  • Christian Kit (1840-1870)
  • Julia (born-1842)
  • Nancy (1845-1842)
  • Eliza Jane (1845-1842)
19-year old Emily goes on to have children with two of her white half-brothers William and Christian Kit, as well as with a neighboring plantation owner Eff McComb:
With Christian, Emily Allen conceived:
1) Ivery "Ivy" Hoover (b 11/24/1859 - 11/18/1917) - born with fair skin, and blue eyes
Married to his wife Ary Hoover, Ivery Hoover goes on to conceive children with her. He also conceives J. Edgar Hoover out of wedlock with his long-time mistress Anna "Annie" Scheitlin Hoover, who is his distant cousin's/great uncle's wife. The affair lasts from before JEH was born, until 1917 when Ivery is killed.
This is what Millie McGhee's research suggests is the true lineage of the notable J. Edgar Hoover - Ivery being his biological father.
Records also indicate that Ivery later married Anna (they lived together), and that his wife Ary later married someone else.
Ivery died a few weeks after J. Egar Hoover got his first justice department promotion. Suspiciously, there were no documents on file documenting Ivery's death due to two subsequent courthouse fires "conspicuously convenient to the time of J. Edgar Hoover's rise to power".
J. Edgar Hoover strategically waited until his mother Anna died in 1938 to file his birth certificate. A that point, only his older brother could claim witness to his birth and parentage. He had already been the head of the FBI for 14 years, at that point. He also, in previous years, had the birth records of himself and other biological relatives altered.
With Eff McComb, Emily Allen conceived:
2) Malinda Allen (born 1860)
With William, Emily Allen conceived:
3) Simon Allen (1862)
4) Ebenezer Allen (1864)
5) Lizzie Allen (1868)
6) William Allen (1870)
has a son named Clarence Allen --> This is Millie L. McGhee's maternal grandfather, her mother Alberta's father
7) Harrison Allen (1872)
8) Walter Allen (1875)
In total, Emily birthed 8 children. Out of Emily's eight children, her first born Ivery "Ivy" who, fathered by Christian Kit and was fair skinned with blue eyes, was the only one given the Hoover surname. Furthermore, the relationship between Emily and her brother William was, actually, a love affair.
Later, Emily's father/grandfather/slave master Christian Hoover, Sr. willed her to William, her half-brother/lover. William was married to his white wife Martha Hoover. Together, Martha and William had 8 children:
  1. Christian (born 1853)
  2. Thomas (born 1855)
  3. William Jefferson (born 1861)
  4. Robert (born 1863)
  5. Mattie (born 1865)
  6. John (born 1868)
  7. Diolician (born 1869)
  8. Dorothy Virginia (born 1872)
Archival records indicate, however, that Emily, too, was married to her half-brother William Hoover (b 1832). Out of Emily's eight children.
According to the oral history Ivery "Ivy" Hoover was J. Edgar Hoover's biological father through an 22-year + extramarital affair he had with this distant relative Dickerson Naylor Hoover's wife Anna (Annie) M. Scheitlin Hoover.
To keep his secret and make a point to his black relatives to keep their mouths shut J Edgar Hoover murdered:
#His biological father Ivery "Ivy" Hoover in 1917
#His biological half-sister, born Mizzola Hoover, Ivery's daughter, in 1927 leaving her 5 children motherless. She was upset about her father's murder and had called an investigation into the matter.
When JEH killed Ivery, it forced his mother Anna to return back to his official father Dickerson. Anna and Ivery's affair began before JEH was born. Apparently, Dickerson was aware of the affair.
Nathanil Dillion, Ivery Hoover's very black looking great-grandson, and the son of Mizzola Hoovers's only remaining child Can (Candice), speaks about how his great-grandfather, Ivery, was buried among white members of the Hoover family, which was highly unusual for the time. This was especially the case because everyone knew that Ivery was black, despite his lighter complexion.
The affair between Ivery and Annie forced J. Edgar Hoover to live a lie his entire life. Not only did he have to cover-up that he was black, but that Dickerson was not his biological father. Dickerson, actually, despised J. Egar. He, likely, also had to deal with uncovering the fact that his official father was also his distant cousin and that his biological father was also his cousin/great-uncle.
The documentary quotes to the book authored by JEH called "If I had a Son"
Quote: If I had a son, I'd be frightened.
Quote: If I had a son, I'd never tell him a lie. I'd always tell him the truth.
Millie L. McGhee states that she thinks Dickerson abused J Edgar Hoover because he hated him over the fact that he was not his actual son, and that he was a product of his mother's extramarital affair.
Millie L. McGhee and all her siblings are all half fourth cousins. Millie is half third cousin to her own mother because of all the incest that happened during slavery and early on in the family tree.
Christie Hoover Sullivan, Millie's distant white cousin, is also a descendant of Elizabeth Allen Hoover.
The documentary and book provide extensive documentation. I don't know if it serves well to include it in this article or start a new one. There's not even an article for the late senator Christian Hoover, of McComb, Mississippi, and he's a notable historic figure. This family history-scandal, alone, is worthy of its own article, IMO. The full documentary can be viewed here. Bab-a-lot (talk) 21:43, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Unbalanced on topic of sexuality[edit]

This article is really unbalanced, as Hoover's sexuality is given many paragraphs of speculation, gossip, and poorly sourced discussion. Given all the events in his life, spending such length on such trivia seems really silly. But hey, that's Wikipedia for you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Noadsplease (talkcontribs) 23:06, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree that it's unbalanced, but I feel it's got too little on other aspects of his career rather than too much on his sexuality. (Well, perhaps the sexuality section could be cut down a bit.) The point is that even today, Hoover's sexuality is a focus of popular speculation and rumour, and it seems a legitimate function of Wikipedia to set out the facts and opinions which underlie, or have accumulated around, this. I think the idea that an article should be 'balanced' in the sense that each section has an ideal size in proportion to its importance, and to the overall length of the article, is mistaken. If it takes a lot of words to deal properly with what some might consider a trivial subject, so be it. The reader can always ignore them. I don't see that it's part of an article's job to do the ignoring on behalf of the reader. In terms of what there should be more of, I'm surprised there's no full treatment of the claims that Hoover blackmailed leading politicians. This is certainly more important than his sexuality, but there's only a brief mention of it in the second paragraph. Dayvey (talk) 18:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Cut down the sexuality a LOT. It's flat out irrelevant. What's relevant was his total disregard for the American Constitution & Rule of Law. Read William C. Sullivan's "My Thirty Years in the FBI." Not once does he even hint at… "gee maybe I shouldn't be doing these things." DEddy (talk) 18:36, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd have to say it can be easily cut down when one looks at the number of times the "information" consists of someone saying they saw something, with no proof, and usually which, even if true, wouldn't have proved what they are trying to claim. I'd say it would suffice to say there were rumors, never proven or disproven, and perhaps mention a few scholars who have opined on either side. That would be one or two paragraphs at most. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:3AEC:99E0:D557:605A:B19C:184C (talk) 22:46, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Whenever you have soneone who persecuted homosexuals, as Hoover unquestionably did, then his own sexuality is legitimately open to question and relevant. Remember that we're not in a court of law, trying to establish Hoover's homosexuality "beyond a reasonable doubt". It's "preponderance of the evidence". deisenbe (talk) 08:57, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
We should consider that severe persecution of gays was the norm during Hoover's lifetime. Homosexual acts were criminal offenses, for which people were imprisoned. In fact, Hoover would have been highly exceptional for his time had he not participated in persecution of gays, so that is neither here nor there. As a controversial figure, and one who never married, it is not surprising that he was the target of rumors about his sexuality, but we should not indiscriminately print every questionably-sourced rumor, such as tabloid-level psychoanalysis from some anonymous “medial expert” who, as far as we know, never even met Hoover. Deisenbe is certainly correct that this article should rely on the standard of "preponderance of evidence," but a lot of this does not qualify as evidence. I don’t believe that such a collection of poorly-sourced rumors would be tolerated in most wiki articles, but because Hoover is unpopular, the usual standards do not seem to apply, and he is fair game. The section on Hoover’s sexuality is really over-the-top, and should be severely trimmed. Thanks. Plazak (talk) 15:46, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think any historian of sexuality, or homosexuality, in the United States would agree with you that Hoover's position and behavior on homosexuals was just typical of his time. Hoover made things worse, by influence as well as by things he did directly. Furthermore, he did it cynically, because it was politically expedient. It was expedient because the public was already receptive, but Hoover took this lesser pre-existing homophobia, stirred it up, made it worse, and publicized it. deisenbe (talk) 18:20, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Plagiarism in this article.[edit]

I just finished watching the Clint Eastwood movie J EDGAR. One of the closing on-screen text statements in this film is the same or very similar to a statement in this Wikipedia article. SEE: "Sexuality" section ... 4th paragraph down. Right after Footnote #51.

"Upon Hoover's death, Tolson inherited Hoover's estate and moved into his home, having accepted the American flag that draped Hoover's casket. Tolson is buried a few yards away from Hoover in the Congressional Cemetery."

Which came first - the movie text or the Wkipedia text? Something to investigate.


I see no reason why he should be included in this category. There's no proof that he ever actually engaged in gay sex, and he certainly did not publicly identify as homosexual. I'm removing this category. Dozzzzzzzzzing off (talk) 00:20, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

He can be LGBT even if he was totally celibate. deisenbe (talk) 08:50, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

False introduction[edit]

"Hoover is credited with building the FBI into a large and efficient crime-fighting agency."

Credited by whom? The this is false because under Hoover the FBI abused its power regularly, it didn't become more efficient at fighting crime. I'm changing the phrasing to remove the false claim.

"His critics have accused him of exceeding the jurisdiction of the FBI."[edit]

The above statement from the current article, is surely true(and it's also verified, with a citation)--anyone who reads the newspapers knows Hoover was "accused" many, many times of doing wrong things with his agaency-by columnists, letters to the editor, demonstrators, etc. But it is a deceptive mealymouthed statement, because it's more than accusations, it's well established (and readily citable). The intro as currently written makes the question of Hoover sound like it's an issue that's up in the air, so that it's a "they said, we said" thing that one just has to shrug off.-Richard L. Peterson76.218.104.120 (talk) 21:53, 7 January 2014 (UTC) (talk) 21:57, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

What Kenneth D. Ackerman "considers"--request for discussion[edit]

From a recent version of the article: "...Truman stated that "we want no Gestapo or secret police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him".[5] However, biographer Kenneth D. Ackerman considers these kind of statements to be hyperbole.[6]"

I removed the quoted sentence twice. It has been restored once, by DHeywood with the comment "Actually the 6th considering former agency." I didn't understand what this comment meant, so I headstrongly reverted it the second time. In any case, can we hash it what to do here? thanks and best wishes--Rich Peterson76.218.104.120 (talk) 05:18, 15 January 2014 (UTC) (talk) 05:19, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
You don't think "would give his right eye to take over" was hyperbole? My comment and revert though was for the directorship from the "Bureau of Investigation" that was changed to "1st" with the edit I reverted. The biography itself explains the hyperbole because all Hoover was ever interested in was being FBI chief, which is what he was. Hoover was anti-communist but survived Democrat and Republican presidents precisely because he was apolitical with respect to elected office or Democrats and Republicans. Any comparison to political police forces like "gestapo" are hyperbole and spoke of a nebulous future (i.e. the same is being done today with the NSA and comparisons to anything Hitler of Stalin is hyperbole). Truman ignored Hoover for the most part. Hyperbole and politicians go hand in hand. Truman fired Gen. MacArthur so such strong statements about fear of Hoover and his ambition keeping him in office are clearly hyperbole and it's borne out by exactly how Truman treated him: not worthy to even meet with. Truman was anything but shy when it came to removing threats and he could have fired Hoover at any time. Very hard to sit with a straight face thinking about Truman firing MacArthur, a very popular general and war hero, dropping two atomic bombs on Japan and then fretting about the power Hoover wields and how he might create a secret police force. If there was a person to be feared in D.C., it was Truman, not Hoover. And yes the lack of attention Truman paid Hoover speaks plainly to how much he was worried about it the statements made being hyperbole. --DHeyward (talk) 03:57, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know for sure whether what Truman said was hyperbole or not. But part of my point is that I don't think that Kenneth Ackerman said it was hyperbole in the cited article...As to whether it actually was hyperbole or not, it seems possible that it wasnt exaggeration, even spot on--after all Truman was there and we aren't-- and historically, there have been such people, working for state security forces in various countries, such that truman's description would be the way,this may be slightly off topic for me to bring this up, but what I have read about Truman and Mac was that truamn prepared the ground carefully before firing him, making sure of the Joint Chiefs support, but perhaps you are right that he could have fired Hoover....As far as the atomic bombs--i wish Truman hadn't done that!, and you may well be right that he didnt consider it carefully. (talk) 16:37, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
The obvious person is the current President of Russia. But in terms of ambition or lust for power, Hoover's record is pretty clear he didn't seek any higher office, such as attorney general. The point about the MacArthur firing is only that Truman wasn't afraid to fire powerful people. Truman could have fired Hoover if he felt he was too powerful. In fact, if he had really believed that all of Congress was afraid of Hoover, it would have been easy as Hoover would have no support. Robert Gates is a current example of someone who held powerful offices in multiple party administrations for a long period. Obama had no problem moving him out when he wanted to. --DHeyward (talk) 19:40, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Hoover was anti-communist But one has to understand that for Hoover "anti-communist" in practice meant anyone he didn't like for even the flimsiest reason or anyone he felt had slighted him or the FBI in any way. Hoover had a long list of rolling slurs: "fellow traveller, under control of Moscow, pinko" & so forth. None of these pejoratives were ever defined. Pure intimidation was the objective. Totally like the school yard bully. DEddy (talk) 13:57, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I wish Truman HAD fired him. (talk) 16:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I would like to add: Biographer Kenneth D. Ackerman has objected to myths created about Hoover.

Any objections?Jimjilin (talk) 02:02, 15 February 2014 (UTC)


This looks like an attempt at an exhaustive list of every portrayal of Hoover not just in films and TV but also in computer games. Is there a Wikipedia standard that applies? Some of the items look trivial.Smitse (talk) 00:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

"Hoover consequently amassed a great deal of power and was in a position to intimidate and threaten sitting Presidents"[edit]

While I agree this is probably true, the linked source is not one easily accessible to anyone not affiliated with an university. I suggest either moving this sentence (because it is appropriate) to another section or eliminating it entirely.

Frankly, I don't think it should be too difficult to find an easily accessible source affirming his corruption but it is very extreme to have a claim alleging corruption of several United States Presidents without any easily verifiable evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:E:CD00:15F5:2104:7D69:4D6E:FC8B (talk) 06:13, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

The sentence has a WP:RS inline citation. Although in an ideal world it would be wonderful if every WP:RS cited in Wikipedia were freely accessible for anyone who wanted to verify its content, it is not a requirement (and never reasonably could be) that references cited on Wikipedia have to be non-paywalled. Readers of Wikipedia sometimes assume it ought to be; but that could never happen until all reliable sources were free, which can never happen as long as anyone needs to get paid for creating and maintaining them. So the sentence is OK where and as it is. As for its content, I believe that Hoover's dirt on thousands of sitting and potential congress members over many decades was even more important in shaping events than any dirt he had on a few sitting presidents. But given Kennedy's incompetence in keeping his hands to himself and the fact that Deep Throat turned out to be Mark Felt, well, obviously the FBI knew enough to blackmail presidents, too. — ¾-10 18:42, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Deleted paragraph[edit]

This that I added today was immediately deleted as "gossip".

According to Summers (pp. 377-378), boy erotic model Billy Byars, Jr. in the summer of 1969 "had used the bungalow next to Edgar's at [Texas oilman Cliff Murchison's] Del Charro Hotel" in La Jolla. Byars's late father had had the habit of vacationing there with Hoover. "A fifteen-year-old at the house talked openly of having met Edgar at the Del Charro. 'Hoover bawled me out' he complained, 'for having long hair, but I told the old faggot where to go. No way was I getting a haircut.'" Summers quotes his source, Charles Krebs: "On three occasions that I knew about, maybe four, boys were driven down to La Jolla at Hoover's request. I think the arrangements were made by one of Billy's friends, an older man." Hoover was met at a restaurant called Rudi's Hearthside House. Taken to meet Hoover were "the boys, the fifteen-year-old and another youngster." The group went in two limos to a tryst by a reservoir in the San Diego hills. Summers claims to have verified the existence of the restaurant and the reservoir.

deisenbe (talk) 17:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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I have just added archive links to 2 external links on J. Edgar Hoover. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Sexuality redux: What belongs in this section?[edit]

Hello, all.

Today, IP user User: removed the sexuality section. I knee-jerk reverted, seeing a lot of well-cited content and not wanting to lose the section entirely. Then User:Jwe345 re-removed it, and after looking at the context I realized that IP and Jwe345 were right, I was wrong, and this section was massively WP:UNDUE. I would like to take comments on what belongs in this section. Some claims by various biographers, some inherently unverifiable claims from primary sources, and some scholars' opinions on the subject were present.

What should remain, though? There is something to be said here about the allegations and the multitude of opinions about their veracity, but what is appropriate and encyclopedic? MisterRandomized (talk) 07:22, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks user:MisterRandomized! I think the section has a place within the article as long as it meets the following:

1. presents a narrative structure of JEH's sexuality/claims/debunked stuff in chronological order 2. does not contain what could be described as potential politically biased statements 3. is not rambling with references to debunked/undebunked and subsequently debunked again claims 4. is of suitable length that is appropriate not to draw focus away from the rest of the subjects life - as there are not (to my knowledge) scholarly sources which can connect alleged sexuality to professional or historical roles within the US law enforcement structures.

Suggest total rewrite with less sources relying on celebrity opinion.

advise that his article will receive more attention as HBO film All The Way premiered on HBO recently.

--Jwe345 (talk) 07:35, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

  • My university's library has all the major scholarly works (i.e. university press books) on Hoover. I ordered the Gentry biography as well. I will see if I can ascertain what is really known and what is gossip and produce a tight section that is not a rambling assortment of anecdotes. Maybe I'll even get the whole thing up to Good Article status, if I have the time. MisterRandomized (talk) 07:49, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Its not that I disagree with a rewrite, but wiping out a whole section that is cited, is not the way it is done. The burden is on the one or ones which want to make the changes and consensus must be found with the end result. So I reverted per BRD. I agree it needs re-working and can be presented better, but again, there is a proper way to do it. Kierzek (talk) 11:18, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I also reverted Jwe345, and I see that he's been reverted by others as well. Jwe345, do stop WP:Edit warring over this. As for rumors or speculation regarding a public figure's sexuality, we include a bit of that in some of our articles about public figures that are now deceased, such as James Dean or David Bowie (WP:Permalinks for those cases are here and here). And the David Bowie article is WP:Featured. I suggest retaining all of the salient points and not going overboard with rumors and speculation. If the rumors and speculation received attention from multiple sources, then a brief mention of them are likely worth inclusion. If it's a WP:Fringe rumor or speculation, then no. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:35, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

No mention at all of Gandy, or destruction of records?[edit]

Why is Helen Gandy, his secretary, not mentioned at all in this article except as a link at the bottom? She worked for Hoover for decades, and was central to the destruction (or removal) of 'his' files (i.e. public records) upon his death. There is also an implication in this article that Hoover eventually began to harangue organised crime - citation needed. Ambiguosity (talk) 10:28, 16 September 2016 (UTC)