When I returned to Georgia from Indiana, I enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at Armstrong State College (now Armstrong Atlantic State University). My mother knew the Chief Telephone Operator at Southern Bell and I applied for an operator position and was hired. I was one of only 4 male telephone operators in Savannah in 1973. In those days, telephone service was controlled by AT&T across the country and operators sat in front of a "cord board" that ran a full city block (like the one Lilly Tomlin used on Laugh In but much longer).
From 1973-76, I attended college in Savannah and dated another operator at the "phone company". We were married in May 1976. We were both hired as FBI "clerks" and began working at HQ in Washington D.C.two weeks later. I had been told by the FBI agent who recruited me that I could able to apply to become a FBI special agent position after I earned my college degree. The Savannah field agent made it clear that the vast majority of FBI agents started their careers as clerks because Mr. Hoover found that FBI "clerks" made became the best agents. Mr. Hoover did not hire police officers to become FBI agents.
J.Edgar Hoover was the most powerful Director of the FBI and held that position from 1924-1972. Hoover was solely responsible for building the FBI from a fledgling agency with few responsibilities into the 2,000 pound gorilla of an agency that it is today. The FBI is by far the most powerful agency in the federal government though it is much younger than the Secret Service, Marshall's Service, Postal Inspection Service and Customs Service which was created by the second act of Congress in 1786.
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