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FBI / J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover
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                                                 J. Edgar Hoover

          On July 23, 1933, the FBI raided a nearby farm and came face to face with Machine Gun Kelly; the infamous criminal who was a prime suspect in the kidnapping of Charles Urschel. A ransom was paid before this raid and Urschel was let free. Yet, by examining weather reports, plane schedules, highway maps, and the vague description from the former-hostage, the FBI successfully apprehended the kidnappers. When they busted in, Kelly simply dropped his weapon without a fight, and stated, “‘Don’t shoot, G-Men!’ ‘Machine Gun Kelly and the kidnapping of Charles Urschel would put J. Edgar Hoover’s bureau in the headlines and on the map for good.’” (Streissguth 8)


          Upon graduating highschool, Hoover's father was suffering from nervous breakdowns, and his family was struggling. Hoover had to make a difficult choice to stay and help his family, or go to college. It is quite obvious that he stayed. Hoover got a job in the Library of Congress, and went to school at night studying law. 3  years later Hoover graduated with a bachelor degree in law from George Washington University. The following year, Hoover managed a Master's Degree and found himself a job in the United  States department of Justice.


          Hoover rose himself to power in the government extremely quickly. Wilson had asked Congress for a declaration of war on Germany, and he got it. However, Hoover did not want to leave his mother and his career behind to join the army, so he stayed behind. Due to the absence of people and to his diligence towards his work, Hoover was given constant promotions and was soon appointed the special assistant to John Lord O'Brian. At that time, O'Brian himself was special assistant to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. When Palmer's life was threatened by a suicide bombing, he immediately ordered an investigation. Using the 2 million dollars granted by Congress, Palmer set up the General Intelligence Division (GID) and Hoover was named first director.


          When William J. Burns was made the chief of the Bureau of Investigation (not yet the FBI), Hoover was named assistant chief. Thus, the GID combined with the BI. When President Harding died of a stroke, VP Calvin Coolidge was sworn in. Coolidge fired Burns, and Hoover was appointed the director of the BI. (no, its not the FBI yet) While Hoover was appointed the director of the BI in 1924, it was not until 1935 that Congress decided to change the name of the division to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.