America's Most Powerful

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Nowhere in American history will you find a man as influential as the late J. Edgar Hoover. He was the director, the founder, the entire force behind the Federal Bureau of Investigation from the year 1924until his death in the early seventies, fighting off incoming presidents who had every intention of shutting down the Bureau as soon as they stepped through the White House door, and through his ambition he irrevocably changed the course of criminal profiling and investigating in this country forever. He was a fiercely powerful man, vindictive and secretive, but years later we are surprised to learn that he was rumored by many people, even by some within his extremely tight knit social circle, to be a homosexual.
How could this be?
One of the most powerful men in early twentieth century America, gay?
Back then it would have been shocking and unheard of (indeed, still today, how many gay politicians do you see running for office?), and if the public had ever caught wind of it there is no doubt in my mind it would have cost Hoover his job and the Bureau it's entire reputation. Couldn't he just simply have chosen not to be gay?
The movie J. Edgar starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover paints an interesting picture of nature contrasted with nurture. J. Edgar was bred to be an ambitious man by his mother, whom he lived with until her death. He was raised to be "strong, not to wilt like a little flower," to be successful in politics, and yet through it all there was this terrible little secret he had, threatening to destroy him at every turn. He must have known it; he must have known that his essential nature was in conflict with the way he had been nurtured. The result was a lonely life, lived in the shadows of our great country.
So what do you guys think? How would you feel if you were J. Edgar Hoover?


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I find this to be a very interesting blog post, but also one that I think needs to be backed up with more evidence. If the claims about J. Edgar Hoover's sexuality were true, I think you would have a very good case for the nature v. nurture argument (with nurturing winning). However, there is no real way to prove that Hoover was in fact a homosexual. We have to make sure that A caused B (correlation v. causation).

I like your ideas about connecting J. Edgar Hoover's life to the nature vs. nurture debate, and it makes for a good blog post because it's very controversial. In my personal opinion, I believe that human beings do not choose whether or not they are homosexual. Since I believe this to be related to genetics, his upbringing with a strong emphasis on being strong and achieving would serve as an explanation why so few people believed him to be homosexual. This view point would support the nurture side of the debate being the dominant force in his life, since he did not choose to embrace his sexuality openly.

I agree with robe0926, there really isn't enough evidence here to form a theory. In my opinion, It is important to stray away from societal rumors and theories of the media when analyzing something as complex as the nature-nurture debate."He 'must' have known" is far from evidence.

Thats very interesting, I have not seen that movie nor have I ever heard any of that before. Back then he really had no choice to be openly gay if he wanted to continue his career in office. However as others stated there is no evidence most of what you wrote about was indeed a rumor and can't be proved and probably never will be.

This is a interest topic about the movie director. However I think You need to provide more evidence and make the article clearer.

I never would have thought Edgar Hoover to be gay. I know it is not a set fact but if he were there would have been a lot of pressure for him to deny being gay and even today many politicians would lose their career if they did come out saying they are gay. I would like to know the proof of how he was found to be gay. This does not change the great works of Edgar Hoover and I have no doubt anyone would think less or more of him because of his sexual orientation. I know current politicians could lose their career because of saying they are homosexual but if someone from the past is no one cares as much because we know what they did. I think politicians today losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation is because people fear the unknown.

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This page contains a single entry by keive001 published on February 5, 2012 2:04 PM.

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