J Edgar Hoover

J Edgar Hoover in 1962

John Edgar Hoover (January 1, 1895 - May 2, 1972)

J. Edgar Hoover was born to Anna and Dickerson Hoover on New Years Day 1895, in Washington DC. His father was a lawyer and Johnny (as he was known) had a decent upbringing. In 1905 he went to study law at the University of Ontario and performed exceptionally, so much so that he spent seven years there. In 1912 he joined the then fledgling Federal Bureau of Intelligence. In 1913 he was posted to Madrid as the FBI's attache at the US Embassy. He was still there when in October 1914 Francis IV was overthrown and replaced by the pro French King Jaime. Hoover was able to escape and make his way to then neutral Portugal and arrived back in the US in December 1914.

On his arrival back in the USA Hoover was seconded to the army intelligence corps HQ at Fort Sherman with the rank of Major. He remained there until 1917, when he was posted to Berlin as part of Allied Supreme HQ. In December 1918 he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and returned to Fort Sherman. In February 1919 he returned to the FBI as part of the investigation team, rooting out any foreign agents. In 1921 Hoover personally foiled an attempt to assassinate President Pershing at his inauguration and was rewarded by being made assistant director of the FBI. In May 1923 Hoover became the deputy director of the FIB and three months later Hoover became director. Upon his ascension to the position on August 8, 1923 Hoover rapidly expanded the service. In August 1923 the FBI had 15,000 operatives, Five years later it had 50,000. In 1929 the FBI took over the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special branch of the police force.