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G-Man: 1940

April 5, 1940. Washington, D.C. "Informal photo of J. Edgar Hoover, Director of FBI, Department of Justice." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

April 5, 1940. Washington, D.C. "Informal photo of J. Edgar Hoover, Director of FBI, Department of Justice." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


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Say what?

Mr. Hoover awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Thats as beliveable as the person who was awarded it today.

[J. Edgar Hoover was never awarded the Nobel. Where do you people come up with this stuff? - Dave]

No credibility at all!

Hopefully, the FBI has changed since Hoover's death. However, his legacy is still present through the various laws the FBI has managed to circumvent since 9/11. Hoover is smiling in that photo because he knows he's above the law. He absolutely has no credibility in my eyes. Hoover is an example of what happens when you have too much power.

Should have retired in 1960

The definitive example of a man who outlived whatever usefulness he might have had in the first place by at least 25 years. It could be argued that in the 1930s, he played an important role in bringing down such felons as John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly and Baby Face Nelson, but the last ten years of his life were a complete farce. Instead of focusing on organized crime, he became absurdly obsessed with left-leaning but largely benign singers like Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs and John Lennon.

There are smiles that make you happy

He's smiling because he's been reading the secret files he kept on the peccadillos of anyone and everyone who might have threatened his position.

The odd thing is that he managed to get himself identified with patriotism, when he really wasn't very effective in his job--as proved by his denial of the existence of the Mafia, his attempts to subvert the civil rights movement, his undermining of Melvin Purvis, etc. etc.

Re: Wrongfully Smeared?

Well, the major smear referred to in the referenced comment has long since been debunked. Quite reasonably, given that the sole source for it was a gangster's wife, quoted in a bio (classy title: "The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover") released more than 20 years after Hoover's death. But once these things are in the air, people do seem to want to believe them.

The point about Hoover's "unchecked powers" is at least rationally debatable.

I'm with Tom

Definitely not criticized without perfectly good reason. The head of our top law enforcement agency kept files on his politcal enemies and would blackmail them without thinking twice in order to keep his job. He should have been put out to pasture long before he was. It's amazing who, in this day in age, is considered a "patriot." The word has been marginalized to the point of meaninglessness.


I also was expecting the usual drivel about the man. But the day is young. I consider Hoover a true patriot who fit in perfectly as head of the FBI.

Wrongfully Smeared?

He was a titanic hypocrite. If he suspected any prominent American of being what he himself was, there would have been a nice, thick file and probably a follow-up with either painful or sensational consequences.

The man wasn't wrongfully smeared post-mortem. Personally, I regret it didn't happen pre-mortem. All his good was balanced, for better or worse, by his unchecked powers, the results of that, and the big, fat elephant in the room that he successfully concealed for all of his life.

What crosses my mind, and obviously many other, is the possibility of what else he's wearing under that expensive suit. Smeared? Certainly. Wronfully? Not in the opinion of this humble correspondent.


I was looking forward to a dozen or so predictably inane comments. Yet ... zilch!

[They've been sent off to Headquarters for analysis. - Dave]

J.E.H. R.I.P.

A good man who ran a tight ship, made a lot of enemies and got wrongfully smeared after his death.


Never seen a picture of him smiling before!

Sartorially Correct

A dapper guy right down to that tank watch on his wrist..

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