FBI Officials, Former Aide Tell Clint Eastwood They Didn’t See Anything Gay About J. Edgar Hoover


Some insights into the upcoming Clint Eastwood biopic of J Edgar Hoover and the research Eastwood and the cast did on Hoover's rumored homosexuality from USA Today.

Jedgar The folks at the Hoover Foundation don't seem too pleased that this angle was being researched or may be explored in the film, and deny that Hoover was gay, but don't want anyone to think it's because they're anti-gay:

William Baker, a former agent and Hoover foundation vice president, characterized Eastwood's letter as "polite, but non-committal."

"Concern still persists (that the angle is being explored)," Baker said. None of the agents interviewed has seen the film. What alarms them is what Baker has heard from people familiar with the movie and a suggestive image in the movie's trailer (Watch it HERE) Hoover's character clutching the hand of Tolson, played by Armie Hammer.

"We're caught in a dilemma here," Baker said. "We don't want to support something not based in fact, but we're not against the new FBI and diverse workplace."

Meanwhile, the Hoover Foundation chair had a bit of a stronger reaction:

"There is no basis in fact for such a portrayal of Mr. Hoover," William Branon, chairman of The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, wrote to Eastwood this year. "It would be a grave injustice and monumental distortion to proceed with such a depiction based on a completely unfounded and spurious assertion."

Eastwood and DiCaprio met with the FBI earlier this year. Assistant FBI Director Mike Kortan told them the trail is cold on Hoover's homosexuality:

"Vague rumors and fabrications have cropped up from time to time, but there is no evidence in the historical record on this issue."

And a former aide to Hoover told DiCaprio the same thing:

"When the subject of homosexuality came up, I made it very clear that I never saw any evidence of it whatsoever," said DeLoach, 91, who served as Hoover's deputy director for more than five years. "I traveled with him, I ate in his home and he in mine. I knew Clyde Tolson to be Mr. Hoover's companion and best friend. When you are somebody like Mr. Hoover, I guess you need somebody to talk to."

Filmmaker Eastwood asked FBI about Hoover's sexuality [usa today]


  1. Charlie says

    I remember being told long ago that a mold of John Dillinger’s penis was found under J. Edgar’s pillow when he died. The agent’s who found his body hid it to protect their boss. I assumed it was a joke.

    In fact, there probably is no ‘smoking gun’ proving his homosexuality. People are going to enjoy implying it anyway. And it may help sell tickets.

  2. Brian says

    Of course these old coots who were interviewed never saw anything or suspected it. 1. Everything was hidden and 2. You didn’t even talk about homos back then.

    Why do we need historic facts to prove the man was more than likely a hateful mo?

  3. BEAHBEAH says

    Nothing any of these men said is incorrect. There is no proof outside of speculation and rumors that the man was gay. Why is everyone making an issue of this?

  4. BABH says

    His voice was prissier than Truman Capote’s, and he collected Meissen figurines. What more evidence is needed?

    Oh, and he lived with Clyde Tolson for 50 years, took vacations with him, made him Associate Director of the FBI in order always to have him close by, and left him all his money when he died.

  5. Dennis says

    Of course, none of them ever saw anything homosexual! That’s because, and it is still the same for many people today, being “gay” is all about “sex.” It doesn’t matter that the men were clearly devoted to each other, if they didn’t see them actually screwing, they weren’t gay. I am sure I am preaching to the choir, but this is why it is so important to have visibly gay characters and stories everywhere, to end this one-dimensional view.

  6. BEAHBEAH says

    Again, everything listed is speculation. There is no hard undeniable evidence.

    Also, where did I ever say I didn’t think he was gay? The man was gayer than a picnic basket, no doubt. That’s just common sense.

    But to call people homophobic because they question it is ridiculous. In reality, we don’t know the truth.

  7. Charlie says

    If I recollect correctly, he and Clyde Tolson did not live together. They did vacation together. And eat together almost every day. They were great friends, but the question of how many benefits there were to the friendship is not clear and will likely never be known.

  8. Rowan says

    Oh Dennis. Take, say,a ten minute trip to entertainment blogs and star blogs where you will witness the most astonishing comments about obviously gay actors/actresses.

    Lemme give me an example, just a few days ago, a fangurl posted on Neil Patrick Harris’s Imdb page board, “do you really think NPH is a gay”…..I’m not kidding. This was in all seriousness and she got upset when someone called her a troll.

    But there is more of this ALL the time. Do not even enter conversations with Quinto or Parsons on these blogs! It doesn’t matter that there are invites or pictures with Jim’s boyfriend, oh no, it’s just a friend!

    Thank god they quit with making Bomer straight, though he is more out then all of them to be fair.

  9. esther blodgett says

    I had a conversation in the late 70s with a career Capital Hill staffer, a woman then about 60, who said she often saw Hoover and Tolson dining together which they did every evening that they were both in DC. It was obvious to her that the men were a couple though discreet especially given their ages, the times and that they were very powerful. She was not gossipy, but rather matter-of-fact.

    Hoover amassed files on people as a form of counter-blackmail to keep people from even guessing he was gay. “If you even intimate something, remember I have a whole lot on you.” which he did.

    In the Henry Luce years, Time Magazine had a verbal ‘code’ for descriptions of people that they couldn’t or would identify as such. One of these code phrases meant ‘gay lovers with’. Somebody really curious needs to track down a Luce-era writer, and then once the code phrase was gotten, compare it with mentions of Hoover and Tolson. It was something like “great and good friends with”.

    This code phrasing by time was an open secret, not unlike J. Edgar and Clyde.

  10. ohplease says

    “There is no hard undeniable evidence.”

    This is insanity on your part. If all the things that were true of Hoover and Tolson were true of Hoover and a woman, you would say that all of it was “undeniable evidence” that he was heterosexual.

    The only difference is, in that time, a man wouldn’t have lived with a woman the way Hoover lived with Tolson without being married. Which is the best “undeniable evidence” that Hoover was gay.

    Tolson was Hoover’s spousal equivalent. Name two other straight men in the history of the world who had such a relationship as Hoover and Tolson. You can’t, which is further “undeniable evidence” that they were gay.

    I have no idea why you want to play games with this, but it’s ridiculous. No, there is no sex tape, but being gay is about more than sex. Yes, these were men who were determined to go to their graves without leaving behind “undeniable evidence” of the nature of their relationship, while living like the husbands that they were because, in those times, you could do everything but have sex in front of people and the last thing anyone would believe of you is that you were gay, because to believe that of anyone was unthinkable then. That’s exactly what the closet was: society’s denial that gay people even existed.

    And gay is exactly, obviously and “undeniably” what Hoover and Tolson were.

  11. Rin says

    I am still unsure why people are even fighting over whose team this wretched individual was playing for.

    I certainly wouldn’t want to claim him. There were rumors about Hitler and Himmler, too. Who wants those guys either? I mean, this just builds a bad case for gays if some of the world’s more insipid a-holes, hypocrites, and evil-doers were gay.

    Some people were meant to stay in the closet or…well, get booted off the planet.

    I can see claiming Jake Gyllanhal or if it could be proven that someone like Thomas Jefferson was gay, but…Hoover?


  12. Caliban says

    This is an ongoing problem for gay historians. Hell, even the Biblical story of David and Jonathon is a matter of contention despite some pretty provocative descriptions of their love for each other (grew large? exceeded?), so some of these ‘controversies’ are 1000s of years old. The exact nature of Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with Joshua Speed is another.

    Unless letters or journal entries from previous eras explicitly state “I sure did enjoy thrusting my Tab A into your Slot B,” even romantic declarations of love from one man to another are dismissed as merely the florid writing style of the time. And that might be true in many cases, so at best you end up with “maybe” regarding the homosexuality of some figures and it will never be fully resolved. You can only go with your best guess.

  13. BEAHBEAH says

    Seriously, were all those paragraphs necessary? All to say what? It’s still conjecture no matter how wordy you are.

    Again, the man was gay IMO. Why are you trying to prove something to me?

    And I would not assume anything if the situation were between a man or a woman. I avoid labels and stay out of people’s business. Not everyone out there has typical relationships, typical roomates or typical friendships.

  14. Cameron Johnson says

    “knew Clyde Tolson to be Mr. Hoover’s companion and best friend. When you are somebody like Mr. Hoover, I guess you need somebody to talk to.”

    And in that era, “companion and best friend,” meant homosexual.

  15. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    It’s difficult to judge the spectrum of gay relationships past through our more-modern viewpoints. They may have a deep emotional-bond while being basically-chaste; the morals and mores of their times and up-bringings, the sensitive political and law-enforcement positions their occupied, and that the physical-acts that today would be unremarkable were both illegal and considered by many as indications of mental defect and insanity.

    Perhaps a meaningful glance, the occasional discreet handclasp and some catty conversation was as far as they dared-go under most circumstances…

  16. BobN says

    It’s a pity these Hoover Institution fellows weren’t as interested in fact-based movie portrayals back before every freakin movie about Alexander the Great.

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