President Hinckley and J. Edgar Hoover

October 20, 2008 | 12 comments

The FBI released its files on Gordon B. Hinckley last week in response to a FOIA request from the Salt Lake Tribune. Apparently the FBI conducted a background check on President Hinckley in 1951 in order to ensure he wasn’t a communist and clear him for a potential position with Voice of America. The results… no dirt. The verdict seemed to be that this Gordon B. Hinckley was a “loyal American” whose reputation and work ethic were unimpeachable. The whole (slightly redacted) file is pretty interesting and definitely worth a look.


12 Responses to President Hinckley and J. Edgar Hoover

  1. Julie M. Smith on October 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Interesting. And I find it comical that they deleted the name of his wife.

  2. Connor on October 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I did a FOIA request on Ezra Taft Benson a couple months ago and so far have gotten have of the documents. If for nothing else, it’s good for a chuckle to see the kind of investigations that take place.

  3. Peter on October 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    These guys are just as boring as they seem. I’d be interested to see the E.T. Benson documents, especially since his government involvement was cabinet level.

  4. J. Stapley on October 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Signature published a limited edition volume of the Ezra Taft Benson FBI files this year. I understand that there wasn’t anything particularly earth-shattering.

  5. John Mansfield on October 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I don’t understand why these things are released instead of destroyed. The release of such files is 1,000 times the incursion upon privacy that the compilation of them was. And if historical interests dictate that such things be released to the public, one year from the death of the subject is far too short a time. Twenty or fifty years might be about right.

  6. Adam Greenwood on October 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I expect to see this in an anti-Mormon tract soon. FBI INVESTIGATED MORMON “PROPHET” !

  7. Alison Moore Smith on October 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting. I tend to agree with John on this. So you’ve got reams of papers delving into someone’s life–just to show, “THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE HERE!”

  8. bloggernacleburner on October 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Joe Cannon seems to have had a newsgasm over this, I’ve never seen so many stories in my RSS feed from the Deseret News regarding the investigation into GBH’s background.

    Background check Joe. Move along, Move along.

  9. Eric Russell on October 20, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Anyone applying for a government job gets a background check. This has got to be the biggest non-story I’ve ever seen in a newspaper.

  10. Costanza on October 21, 2008 at 10:26 am

    If that’s a “pretty interesting” file I would hate to see a dull one. The Trib’s headline was comical though (something like “GBH Investigated By FBI to See if He was a Spy.” It might as well have been “Hinckley Investigated by FBI to see if he Murdered Puppies and Smoked Grass With Cab Calloway while Sacrificing Goats to Satan.” Turns out they didn’t find any evidence of those things either, but they might have.

  11. Marc Bohn on October 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I thought reading through the contemporary assessments of Gordon B. Hinckley from friends, colleagues, associates, etc. was pretty fascinating actually. Perhaps I’m a history geek though.

  12. Adam Greenwood on October 21, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Hinckley investigated by FBI to see if he worshipped alien lizards in extensive underground tunnels.