Document Deep Dive: Richard Nixon’s Application to Join the FBI
Fresh out of law school, the future president first hoped he could be one of J. Edgar Hoover’s agents
by Megan Gambino
The abridged biography of Richard Nixon, as most know it, goes something like this. Born the son of a grocer and housewife, Nixon grew up in southern California and attended Whittier College, a small liberal arts college less than 20 miles from Los Angeles. He graduated from Duke University’s law school, moved home to California and started practicing law. He was first elected as a U.S. congressman in 1946 and then a senator in 1950, then served as vice president and eventually the president, before resigning in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
The National Archives, however, adds a surprising little insert into that timeline. That is, a 24-year-old Nixon applied to be a special agent in the FBI in 1937.
See Nixon’s FBI Application and read more at Smithsonian.com.