THE J.EDGAR HOOVER HIS MESSENGER KNEW & CLINT EASTWOOD'S "J. EDGAR"
When Raleigh DeGeer Amyx was a young man, he applied for night school at American University as well as for a full-time job with the FBI, in Washington DC. After the detailed and necessary background investigation the Federal Bureau of Investigation accepted him for a position of Clerk. As such, he expected to be assigned to the FBI File Section, sorting through voluminous FBI files. Well, he was, but that assignment did not last long.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE - WASHINGTON D.C. - THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS WELL AS F.B.I. DIRECTOR HOOVER WERE BOTH ON THE 5TH FLOOR PRIOR TO THE EXISTENCE OF THE NEW FBI HEADQUARTERS
Shortly after being in the File Section, more than one FBI agent asked the young man his name. Special Agents in FBI Headquarters noticed that Amyx always addressed them by their title, always said good morning, appeared well-dressed - always wearing cuff links. At any rate, Amyx was told to report to J. Edgar Hoover's personal Secretary of long-standing, Helen Gandy. At that time the FBI headquarters was located in the present day Department of Justice building on Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, Director J. Edgar Hoover's office was on the 5th floor not far from the office of The Attorney General.
FOR WELL OVER A YEAR IT WAS STRAIGHT THROUGH THESE FORBODING FBI DOORS THAT MESSENGER RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX TRAVERSED TO SERVE J. EDGAR HOOVER
Ms. Gandy, Mr. Hoover's Personal Secretary, of well over a quarter of a century, shared with Raleigh DeGeer Amyx the fact that she was presently interviewing various people for the position of Messenger to Director J. Edgar Hoover. Not long after that, Amyx was advised that he had been selected for that position. In addition to that, Amyx was also selected to become a Tour Leader at FBI Headquarters. The combination of the two assignments brought young Amyx to each and every section of internal FBI Headquarters often. For a mere nearly 19 year old it was heady stuff. And it was to become the time of his life - career wise that is.
RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX - IN 1957, NOT FAR FROM THE F.B.I. HEADQUARTERS - ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE DELIVERING A MESSAGE FROM J. EDGAR HOOVER
Many of the Internal FBI messages that Raleigh DeGeer Amyx carried were kept in a leather pouch. They were often confidential and or secret messages in nature. Several times during each day, the young Messenger was asked to deliver letters and memorandums to each of J. Edgar Hoover's top 10 Associate Directors - as well as to Hoover's number #2 man, Clyde Tolson. In fact, Messenger Amyx often personally handed Clyde Tolson personal messages from Mr. Hoover directly to his desk, no more than 100 feet down the hallway from Mr. Hoover. And of course, it was tempting to read some of the private messages from time to time. However, both professional FBI men generally, in memorandum, stuck strictly to business. But nearly each day Hoover and Tolson would meet for lunch and take the same elevator directly to the basement level, were Director Hoover's chauffeur driven bullet resistant limousine awaited them.
CLYDE TOLSON & J. EDGAR HOOVER HAVE TAKEN THEIR ASSIGNED TICKET SEATS TO ATTEND ONE OF THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION JOE LOUIS'S EARLY TITLE DEFENSES
Amyx was told if he was ever in the elevator with J. Edgar Hoover to always release the button calling for a particular floor stop for himself and respectfully permit both Hoover and Tolson to take the elevator directly to the garage and to the waiting Limousine. But this act of deference by all FBI employees was done more out of respect than out of fear. It was, after all, 1957 and 1958. Things were different then. Another thing was to always remember that your hand was not sweating if you happened to be in a situation where you might shake hands with Director Hoover. Why? Because J. Edgar Hoover felt that a sweating palm was an indication of insecurity and or weakness in a man. Well, again, it was the 1950's and if that was what Mr. Hoover wanted, then no big deal.
Whenever Messenger Amyx ran into J. Edgar Hoover, he always spoke in his booming baritone voice. Never really exactly friendly but certainly cordial in a professional way. But one day Amyx was walking near Hoover's 5th floor office and did not see J. Edgar Hoover coming around the corner. For some inexplicable reason Raleigh Amyx was walking along in the Department of Justice counting cadence - like a good soldier. Later Director Hoover commented that it was not necessary to count cadence while doing FBI duties within FBI Headquarters. Well, Mr. Hoover was right. Amyx never did it aloud again. That is for certain.
DIRECTOR J. EDGAR HOOVER THOUGHTFULLY PRESENTED THIS TO F.B.I. MESSENGER RALEIGH AMYX ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1957
END OF PART ONE OF TWO PARTS - THE SECOND INSTALLMENT ABOUT THE J. EDGAR HOOVER, HIS MESSENGER KNEW, WILL BE PUBLISHED WITHIN 72 HOURS
For additional historical facts that may be of interest see: www.AmericanHeritage1.com
Raleigh DeGeer Amyx is an American historian and collector. His full biography can be read on his Wikipedia page.