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Remarks on the Death of J. Edgar Hoover

May 02, 1972

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is with a profound sense of personal loss that I learned of the death of J. Edgar Hoover. This truly remarkable man has served his country for 48 years under eight Presidents as Director of the FBI with unparalleled devotion and ability and dedication.

For 25 years, from the time I came to Washington as a freshman Congressman, he has been one of my closest personal friends and advisers. Every American, in my opinion, owes J. Edgar Hoover a great debt for building the FBI into the finest law enforcement organization in the entire world.

I have ordered that all the flags on government buildings be flown at half-mast. But I will say that in doing so, Edgar Hoover, because of his indomitable courage against sometimes very vicious attack, has made certain that the flag of the FBI will always fly high.

Note: The President spoke at 11:10 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. He spoke without referring to notes.

Mr. Hoover, 77, died at his home in Washington, D.C.

On the same day, the President signed Executive Order 11669 ordering the flag to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect to the memory of Mr. Hoover.

On May 3, 1972, the White House released the transcript of remarks by Acting Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and L. Patrick Gray III on Mr. Gray's designation as Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Their remarks are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 8, p. 819).

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Death of J. Edgar Hoover Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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