J. Edgar Hoover was the founder of the FBI (the United States’ federal police force), and ran it from the 1920s until his death in 1972. During that time, Hoover wielded substantial power. Notably, after his death, it came out that he used illegal activities to spy on, and collect blackmail materials, against his enemies.
Through his efforts, the FBI used thinks like “Cointelpro” (Counterintelligence Program) to stymie the civil rights movement, for example.
He also was reluctant to acknowledge the mob. And he delighted in prurient details about others’ private lives.
For these reasons, I think it is relevant to consider his own personal ethics, morality, and conduct. And that includes whether he was privately a homosexual.
Besides shedding light on Hoover’s character and psyche, I think that his sexuality is relevant for another reason: recognizing him for being gay demonstrates (yet again) that gay men can be smart, shrewd, successful leaders (and, yes, bullies and tyrants too), thereby disabusing people of longstanding misconceptions.
As for whether he is?
From what I read, there is no direct confession (although Hoover had personal papers destroyed upon his death), but it is undeniable that he had some sort of committed platonic relationship with his second in command, Clyde Tolson, throughout his life. They vacationed together, they were invited to parties as a couple, they rode in a car to work together every morning (officially, Hooever lived in a separate home). They were eventually buried next to each other. And neither had a relationship with anybody else.
In retrospect, not only does this reflect a gay relationship, but an obvious one. In all respects, they were married.
It fascinates me that a hugely popular and public figure could live such an openly gay life and everybody ignored it.
I mean, he even led a purge of gay people in government!
What’s your take? Am I just stating the obvious?