J. Edgar Hoover

(John Edgar Hoover)

J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
  • Born: January 1, 1895
  • Died: May 2, 1972
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Public Servant









John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI's predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director for over 37 years until his death in 1972 at the age of 77. Hoover has been credited with building the FBI into a larger crime-fighting agency than it was at its inception and with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Emma Goldman Oh, I suppose you've given me as square a deal as you could. We shouldn't expect from any person something beyond his capacity.
Timothy Leary Consider my Situation: I was a forty nine year old man facing life in prison for encouraging people to face up to new options with courage and intelligence. The American government was being run by Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Robert Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, J. Edgar Hoover and other cynical flouters of the democratic process
Jack Anderson Let's do to Hoover what he does to others.
Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. When the FBI adopts the tactics of the Soviet Union and Hitler's Gestapo, it's time for the Director no longer to be the Director.
William J. Donovan a moralistic bastard.
Louis Farrakhan Walcott J. Edgar Hoover’s counter-intelligence program was designed to prevent a Black Messiah from rising to unite the people.
Tom Charles Huston The Director of the FBI is paid to take risks where the security of the country is at stake.... What Hoover is doing here is putting himself above the President.
Lyndon Baines Johnson; Winston Churchill It's probably better to have the son-of-a-bitch inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.
Howard M. Metzenbaum Parading around the nation as a squeaky clean, crime-fighting G-man, J. Edgar Hoover, we now know, thoroughly abused the powers of his office and completely trampled on the individual rights of thousands of patriotic, law-abiding citizens.
Robert Mueller It is critically important that we never go back to what is called “the bad old days.”
Martin Luther King Jr. There are things I wanted to say renouncing communism in theory but they (the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee—another Civil Rights organization) would not go along. We wanted to say that it was an alien philosophy contrary to us, but they wouldn’t go along.
Jack Cafferty Remember that J. Edgar Hoover’s secret files began in the interests of national security and ended up being used for blackmail.
Robert Kennedy There are more FBI undercover agents in the ranks of the Communist Party than there were actual communists.
William C. Sullivan We gathered for the purpose of neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader.
William M. Wiecek “[T]he manufactured image of the domestic Communist, cultivated and propagated by [J. Edgar] Hoover, the Catholic Church, the American Legion, and political opportunists, made of Communists something less than full humans, full citizens, fully rights-endowed …
John Erlichman [FBI Director J. Edgar] Hoover seemed to me like an old boxer who had taken too many punches. He had stayed in the fight past his time, feebly counterpunching. But he had lost his judgement and vigor. He had become an embarrassment.
Martin Luther King Jr. It would be encouraging to us if Mr. Hoover and the FBI would be as diligent in apprehending those responsible for bombing churches and killing little children as they are in seeking out alleged Communist infiltration of the civil rights movement
Anonymous Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI
Julian Bond The longest tenured lawbreaker in the service of the United States government.
Quote Topics Cited
... a tom cat with obsessive degenerate sexual urges. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
... pure desecration, desecration of public property ... the most deplorably undignified conduct ... ever witnessed on the part of a Cabinet member. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
... the most notorious liar in the country. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
[I never implied] that President Truman was disloyal or pro-Communist. He was blind to the Communist menace and used very bad judgement. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
… the Mississippi Highway Patrol—some of those are Klansmen, a number of the chiefs of police and the sheriffs are, and therefore you can’t count on the local people to really extend any protection . Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
…burrhead Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
…historically, the official personnel of the Soviet bloc countries assigned to this nation, including those at the United Nations, have been used extensively for espionage purposes… Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
A "soft" approach toward the menace of Communism can only lead to national disaster. We cannot defeat Communism with Socialism, nor with secularism, nor with pacifism, nor with appeasement or accommodation. The fight against crime and Communism can be won, and it will be won, but only with the help of every decent American citizen. Defense & National Security
A notorious Negro agitator. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Before science all things must fall, including the ramparts of criminality. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Colored people are quite ignorant, mostly uneducated and I doubt that they would seek an education if they had an opportunity. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Communism in reality is not a political party. It is a way of life—an evil and malignant way of life. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Communism is akin to a disease that spreads like an epidemic. Miscellaneous
Disruption of the New Left Secrecy & Transparency
Find out who Sartre is. Miscellaneous
Freedom cannot long service where defiance and contempt are tolerated or condoned. That is why our country can ill-afford the binge of so called "civil disobedience" which has erupted on the streets ... and across the campuses of many colleges and universities. Freedom & Liberty
Hunger could not exist but through violation of economic laws and fundamental principles of social justice. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I am amazed that the Pope gave an audience to such a degenerate. [Martin Luther King Jr.] Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I consider [Martin Luther] King to be the most notorious liar in the country—one of the lowest characters in the country and controlled by the communists. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I don't read it. I view it like the Daily Worker. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I expect you to be a leader, to supervise by example, to lead, not simply order others to do hard jobs. I will hold you personally responsible for the operations under you. If one of your men makes an error, you as well as he will be accountable. Management & Managing Government
I would doubt that those people down there would even give them that much of a break. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
If we [are] to fully discharge the serious responsibilities imposed upon us, the confidential character of our files must be inviolate. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Intellectual perverts! War & Peace
It is incontestable that even under the best of circumstances and when dealing with the friendliest and most stable of allies that intelligence organizations of foreign powers must not be permitted to become established on American soil and should be discouraged wherever possible from taking root any place in this Hemisphere. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
It is long overdue for the Communist infiltration in Hollywood to be exposed… Political Parties & Machines
It was gross negligence…. We failed in carrying through some of the salient aspects of the Oswald investigation. It ought to be a lesson to us all, but I doubt if some even realize it now. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Justice is incidental to law and order Justice & Injustice
King has shown not only a willingness but even an eagerness to accept communist aid, to support communist causes, to associate and confer with known communist leaders, and to work closely with and rely on the advice and guidance of dedicated communists with concealed affiliations, despite the fact that they have been identified reliably to him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Law enforcement does not ask an advantage in its struggle with the lawless. It asks only that the scales of justice be balanced. The cause of justice is not served when hardened criminals are allowed to go free through legal technicalities. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Law enforcement, however, in defeating the criminal, must maintain inviolate the historic liberties of the individual. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Neither King nor anyone else is to be furnished protection. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family. Families, Children & Parenting ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Prevent the rise of a "messiah" who could unify, and electrify the militant black nationalist movement. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Rabble Rousers -- Communists -- Outsiders Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The American civil rights movement is not, and never has been dominated by the Communists—because the overwhelming majority of civil rights leaders in this country, both Negro and white, have recognized and rejected Communism as a menace to the freedom of all. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The basic tactics of the Communist Party are deceit and trickery. Political Parties & Machines
The Christian Front was planning to murder Jews, communists and a dozen Congressmen…. They advocated a dictatorship, similar to the Hitler dictatorship in Germany. Religion & God
The colored people are quite ignorant, mostly uneducated, and I doubt if they would seek an education if they had an opportunity. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The diabolical influence of communism on youth was manifested in the ... communist inspired riots in San Francisco, where students were duped into disgraceful demonstrations against a Congressional committee. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
The nature of this new endeavor is such that under no circumstances should the existence of the program be made known outside the Bureau and appropriate within-office security should be afforded to sensitive operations and techniques considered under the program. Secrecy & Transparency
The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters …. Efforts of various groups to consolidate their forces or to recruit new or youthful adherents must be frustrated. No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leaderships of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing black nationalist organizations Be alert to determine … personal misconduct on the part of militant nationalist leaders so any practical or warranted counter-intelligence may be instituted. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The unnecessary result of wartime hysteria. Discrimination & Prejudice
We [the FBI] are a fact-gathering organization only. We don't clear anybody. We don't condemn anybody..... The minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
You are honored by your friends … distinguished by your enemies. I have been very distinguished. Miscellaneous
You never have to bother about a President being shot by Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. They don't shoot very straight. Minorities & Women
Above all, I would teach him to tell the truth Truth-telling, I have found, is the key to responsible citizenship. The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: Every single one was a liar. Truth
Banks are an almost irresistible attraction for that element of our society which seeks unearned money. Society ;Money, Coins & Minting
I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.
Justice is merely incidental to law and order.
The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair.
We are a fact-gathering organization only. We don't clear anybody. We don't condemn anybody.