FBI director J Edgar Hoover was scared journalists would name him as a homosexual, according to a 1970 FBI report.

In June 1970, a reporter told FBI agents that Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Nelson had been sent to Washington to write “derogatory” articles about Hoover.

The reporter told the FBI Nelson had “indicated he had a statement from somebody in the Department stating that Mr Hoover was a homosexual and that he was planning to use this information”.

Hoover made long-time companion Clyde Tolson deputy director of the FBI’s predecessor, the Bureau of Investigations, despite Tolson having no background in policing, and then appointed him his second-in-command at the FBI.

The two lifelong bachelors ate dinner together every night. When Hoover died in 1972, he left Tolson his life insurance and the bulk of his estate.

When Tolson died in 1983, he was buried just a few metres away from Hoover’s grave.

J Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover and Armie Hammer as Tolson, is the first film to examine the men’s relationship and will be released later this year.

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