Clyde Tolson
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Clyde Tolson

J. Edgar

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About Him

Overview… the right-hand man of one of the most powerful people in America. Clyde Tolson had only just graduated from law school when he was hired by J. Edgar Hoover, the recently appointed head of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation. Soon, he was working closely with Hoover on the newly formed FBI, embracing forensic science and advancing criminal investigation techniques. He became assistant director in 1930 and later associate director in 1947, and participated in a number of exciting investigations throughout that earned him great praise.

Personality... intelligent, loyal, and persistent. Tolson had less of a temper than Hoover, but the two were very close and did almost every thing together – to the extent that some whispered that they were more than just friends and colleagues. Though Clyde was more mild-mannered, he was no pushover and usually told his superior Hoover what he really believed. Tolson was the slightly more polished and witty, but no less driven, alter-ego of his friend Hoover.

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