The Worst Public Servant In History? Inside The Life Of J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover served as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for nearly 50 years. He was infamous for his attacks against communists, homosexuals, civil rights activists, and anyone else who stood in his way. Hoover used his power to intimidate political leaders and others through illegal collection of evidence and other unlawful methods. He was one big bully.

While he built the Bureau into a powerful crime-fighting agency that incorporated sophisticated technology such as centralized fingerprinting, Hoover’s legacy is scarred. But if you look into his psyche, you may understand more about the man and why he behaved the way he did.

He Spied On Judges, Actors & Even Presidents


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Hoover kept his eye on politicians as well as Supreme Court justices and even presidents. He kept files on all sorts of people — writers, actors, and everyday citizens for one reason or another. There was a lot of fear about what those files held and whether he had incriminating evidence in them.

During his lifetime, Hoover vehemently denied the existence of “secret dossiers.” However, Attorney General Laurence Silberman got a look at the secret files following Hoover’s death in 1972. He reported that “J Edgar Hoover was like a sewer that collected dirt. I now believe he was the worst public servant in our history.”