From the Back Cover
Compiled with meticulous care over many decades, the book is a chilling portrait based on candid claims made by some 1,000 people who socialized with, worked with, or encountered Hoover. It also contains titillations found in hundreds of little-known documents. For the first time, we hear from Guy Hotell, an FBI agent who was Clyde Tolson’s roommate in the 1940s and 50s. He often accompanied Hoover and Tolson on their free-loading vacations, where they sought sun, sex, and safe bets at Mafia-controlled race tracks.
Behind his back, eight American presidents held Hoover in disdain. But they found him useful for gathering career-destroying information about their enemies. In candid remarks, all of them mocked his homosexuality. One of Hoover’s bosses, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, told aides, “I expect Hoover to walk in the door any minute wearing one of Jackie’s discarded Dior dresses.”
During the compilation of this book, unusual sources were tapped, including eyewitnesses who would speak freely only after Hoover’s death in 1972. Revealing remarks were made by two of Hollywood’s most visible actresses, Dorothy Lamour and Ethel Merman, whom Hoover jokingly referred to as “my gun molls.” Each of them helped their friend acquire gowns and fashion accessories for dressing in drag.
It was not just an urban legend: Hoover was both a closeted homosexual and a transvestite. He was also a voyeur, acccumulating the nation’s largest cache of pornography. He particularly favored frontal nudes of male movie stars. As Hoover grew older and Tolson’s allure faded, he turned to a series of male hustlers, well-endowed young men supplied by pimps behind the scenes. Many of them talked.
Other tantalizing details exposed within this book include:
How Hoover took personal (undeserved) credit for mowing down “Public Enemies” in the 1930s, including Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson... and how he became fascinated by the penis of the slain “Public Enemy Number One,” John Dillinger, nicknamed “Donkey Dong.”
The crush Hoover developed on a young entertainer from Cuba, Desi Arnaz, then appearing on Broadway. Arnaz was arrested by the FBI, strip-searched, and photographed, nude. Later, after Hoover turned on Arnaz, he vindictively exposed Arnaz’s wife, Lucille Ball, as a communist, fully aware that the accusation might destroy her I Love Lucy TV sitcom.
Before and during World War II, Hoover kept Franklin D. Roosevelt in check with the threat of exposing that he’d moved his mistress into the White House, and that his lesbian wife, Eleanor, had moved in a female lover whom FDR referred to as “my wife’s squaw.”
During the witch-burning heyday of Red-baiter Joseph McCarthy, Hoover supplied the fuel for fires that ignited alleged communists. But then, Hoover learned that the Wisconsin senator concealed secrets that were darker than any of those he had exposed.
Hoover vs. The Kennedys, worthy of a drama by William Shakespeare, is a story of betrayals and ultimate tragedy. Days before JFK flew to Dallas for his assassination, Hoover warned him that the Senate was about to publicly investigate his sexual involvements with KGB-sponsored prostitutes within the White House.
The FBI’s pursuit of Elvis Presley: Hoover instructed his agents to gather evidence that the singer was a bisexual who had engaged in an incestuous relationship with his mother, Gladys.
How J. Edgar orchestrated relentless searches for celebrities he claimed were “as red as their underwear,” probing deep into the lives of Americans as diverse as Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Albert Einstein, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—and what he found.
In the 1940s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told his trusted but promiscuous (gay) aide, Sumner Welles, “Hoover’s caught all of us with our pants down. but someday, someone is going to catch him jaybird naked and involved in the most lustful, perverted behavior.”
With the publication of Darwin Porter’s newest book, that long-awaited day has come at last.
About the Author
Porter never became an FBI agent himself, but turned his investigative skills into reporting. Over the years, he gathered stories from dozens of Hollywood celebrities and FBI men, many in retirement in Florida. Sometimes, they spoke freely about their experiences in the FBI. Many others, however, preferred to keep their secrets, and those of J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson, to themselves.
Today, Porter is one of the world’s leading celebrity biographers, having written books on such diverse figures as Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Howard Hughes, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen, the Kennedys, and Frank Sinatra.
He is also the co-author of the popular Hollywood Babylon series, and is also the co-author of Damn You, Scarlett O’Hara, which exposed the complicated and deeply anguished private lives of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
Currently, Porter is working on Marilyn at Rainbow’s End, destined for a publication during the Spring of 2012 and devoted to exploring the mysterious final years in the life of blonde sex goddess Marilyn Monroe. When not traveling, Porter lives in New York City.