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John Edgar Hoover (January 1, 1895 – May 2, 1972) was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972 at age 77. Hoover is credited with building the FBI into a larger crime-fighting agency, and with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories.
J. Edgar Hoover was born on New Year’s Day 1895 in Washington, D.C., to Anna Marie (née Scheitlin; 1860–1938), who was of German Swiss descent, and Dickerson Naylor Hoover, Sr. (1856–1921), of English and German ancestry. The uncle of Hoover’s mother was a Swiss honorary consul general to the United States.