Born In: Laredo, Missouri, United States
Clyde Tolson was an American secret service agent and the first Associate Director of the FBI who was in office for over four decades. He was primarily responsible for personnel and discipline, and was honored with the ‘President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service’ by President Lyndon B. Johnson for increasing the proficiency of law enforcement. During most of his career, he was assistant to the first director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, and after his death, briefly held office as the acting director of the FBI for a day. The two were also very close personally, and were virtually inseparable throughout the day during the four decades they worked together. The fact that Tolson retired soon after Hoover died and moved into Hoover's estate, which he had inherited, sparked rumors about the nature of their relationship and fuelled the imagination of later writers who wrote on their intimacy. While many later sources described the two bachelors as romantic partners, the details about their relationship is still a mystery. Both of them were well aware of the repercussions of an openly gay relationship and how such revelations could ruin their careers, and as such, they kept their personal lives private.
Died At Age: 74
Born Country: United States
place of death: Washington, D.C., U.S.
U.S. State: Missouri
education: George Washington University
In 1936, he helped FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in arresting gangster and bank robber Alvin Karpis. Later that year, he was involved in a gunfight with gangster Harry Brunette, which he survived.
He was part of the FBI team that captured Nazi saboteurs on Long Island and Florida in 1942. He became the FBI Associate Director in 1947, and performed duties in budget and administration.
Clyde Tolson suffered a stroke in 1964, and thereafter his health continued to deteriorate, making him too frail and weak for FBI duty. However, in 1970, despite reaching the mandatory retirement age, Clyde Tolson was kept on the job by the then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
On May 3, 1972, one day after Hoover's death, Tolson instructed Mark Felt, who was the third-ranking official in the Bureau at the time, to write his letter of resignation. He finally resigned from the Bureau on May 4, 1972, the day of Hoover's funeral, citing ill health as the cause of his resignation.
His health further deteriorated after leaving his job, and he had to be admitted to Doctors Community Hospital in Washington, D.C., for renal failure on April 10, 1975. Four days later, on April 14, 1975, he died of heart failure at the age of 74 and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery, near Hoover's grave.
Clyde Tolson’s relationship with the first Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, has been the topic of much controversy for decades, both when the two were alive and after their respective deaths. Both Tolson and Hoover were bachelors, and their intimacy sparked rumors of a romantic relationship, even though they were careful to keep their private lives under wraps as such revelations could have destroyed their careers.
During most the 40 years they worked together, Hoover came everyday at 9 A.M. in his bullet-proof limousine to pick up Tolson from his house, and they often walked along Constitution Avenue before starting work. He has often been described as Hoover’s alter ego as the two “rode to and from work together, ate lunch together, traveled together on official business, and even vacationed together”.
Before the release of his 2011 film ‘J. Edgar’, director Clint Eastwood assured the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation that the film would not “portray an open homosexual relationship” between Hoover and Tolson. Nevertheless, the relationship between the two was the central theme of the movie, which also featured a passionate kiss between Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer, the two actors portraying the two characters.
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