Welcome to the bizarre world of J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 until his death in 1972. Rumors of Hoover’s homosexuality and cross-dressing were rampant but suppressed during his lifetime.
One well-known story is how Mob-friendly lawyer, Roy Cohn possessed a photograph of Hoover in drag, which he used to blackmail the FBI director into denying the existence of the Mafia.
As well as himself being a deeply-closeted homosexual, like Hoover, the late Cohn was for years counsel to Donald J. Trump and previously to Senator Joe McCarthy.
One of Hoover’s lesser-known secrets is that he was part African-American, although writer Gore Vidal, who grew up in Washington DC during the 1930s claims that it was known in his family and around the city that Hoover was a mulatto, whose family “passed for white”.
These were the kinds of secrets Hoover kept (or tried to keep) about himself and which he obtained about others to wield power, as the founder of the FBI, over which he presided for nearly 50 years.
Millie McGhee, was a 10 year old black girl, growing up in rural Mississippi in the late 1950s when she was told by her grandfather that Hoover was his second cousin. She was able to confirm this, after years of research.
McGhee made this film after the release of Clint Eastwood’s film, ‘J. Edgar’ in 2011, because that film failed to explore this side of Hoover’s story – which is significant, given his obsession with destroying black leaders and what was likely Hoover’s direct involvement in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.