Eleanor Roosevelt's FBI File
A lifetime of activism brought Eleanor Roosevelt the gratitude and devotion of millions of people.
However, J. Edgar Hoover, who led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 until 1972, was deeply suspicious of ER's political activities and associates, especially when it came to civil rights and civil liberties. Hoover falsely believed she was a communist or a communist pawn. The FBI gathered an enormous file on Mrs. Roosevelt - one of the largest files ever compiled by the agency on an individual.
This voluminous file began in 1924 and continued until ER's death in 1962. Many of her critics volunteered information to the FBI, and the file is full of unsubstantiated gossip. Almost 90 percent of the file concerns her civil rights work.