J. Edgar Hoover’s personal files (lost investigative documents; 1924-1972)
|J. Edgar Hoover (right) and Helen Gandy (left), the only people who had access to the files|
J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1924 – 1972. During his tenure, Hoover was considered by many as one of the most powerful men in Washington D.C because of the personal files he collected on politicians, civil rights leaders, world leaders and celebrities among other pieces of sensitive information.
Hoover had some 17,000 pages contained in 167 files in the privacy of his own office suite.
He kept the most sensitive and national security files in his office suite for safe keeping. By 1941, the collection had grown exponentially, so he had them reorganized, sent the bulk of them to his National Defense Division (now called the Counterintelligence Division), and restricted to his office only “confidential items of a more personal nature.
These were everything from sensitive information from ongoing case files to sensitive administrative matters; from notes on political leaders, media, and other individuals to materials for congressional hearings and briefings; from research for attorneys general and presidents to notes on persons and organizations critical to the FBI. There were even book and movie reviews. And there was President Richard Nixon’s background investigation, as he had once applied to become an FBI special agent. It’s also believed that Hoover also had files on President John F. Kennedy’s affair with Marilyn Monroe and many other women during his tenure as President.
Only two people had access to the file: Hoover and his personal secretary Helen Gandy. When Hoover died on May 2, 1972, Gandy was ordered to destroy a series of Hoover’s personal files marked under the “D” list. It’s unclear as to what was in those files but some speculate that it was embarrassing and incriminating information that could’ve damaged the reputations of many politicians, leaders, and celebrities. Others speculate that there was more sensitive information relating to the country such as the threats of communism or info relating to the Roswell UFO Incident of 1947. The only people who knew what was in those files are both dead (with Helen Gandy dying in 1988) and the secrets surrounding those files died with them.