Campbell circa 1960s - Courtesy "Grapevine"During the early '30s, the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover were not only looking for better weapons, they were looking for men who knew how to use them.  Some Agents were hired during those years from Southwest law enforcement including Texas and Oklahoma. 

In later years, authors would refer to these men as "Hoover's Gunslingers" and many had arrived at the FBI with already existing "notches" on their guns.  Their names are familiar today to many.  "Jelly" Bryce, George Franklin, Clarence Hurt, Charles "Jerry" Campbell and more.   Some became firearms instructors while others participated in the various "flying squads" the FBI had set up regarding some of the more violent criminals of the day.  Other local lawmen familiar with weapons were hired even before the '30s; some such as Charles Winstead, Gus Jones, John Keith,  and the White brothers. 

Campbell, Hurt and Bryce arrived at the FBI from the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1934.  While the FBI of the time had an abundance of lawyers and accountants, the crime wave of the 30s made it imperative that Agents proficient in firearms be immediately hired.  Hoover knew, especially after the Kansas City Massacre of 1933, that his men were dying in the line of duty and something needed to be done about it.  Hired in May, 1934 together, Hurt and Campbell would find themselves outside the Biograph Theater just two months later.

The 1934 FBI application of Campbell can be seen here which clearly reveals that the Bureau had overlooked his educational qualifications and hired him because of his expert marksmanship.  The same way they did with many others of the times.

"Jerry" Campbell died of heart failure in January, 1991 at the age of 84 in Palo Alto, California.   Campbell had spent most of his career in the FBI as the Senior Resident Agent at the Palo Alto Resident Agency.  He had no children.  Most of Campbell's personal weapons have been purchased through auctions by a Florida gun collector.

More about "Jerry" Campbell, Hurt, Bryce and others can be found by "searching" this site by name.

A special thanks for this application to John McKenzie, who as a young boy, was acquainted with "Jerry" Campbell in Palo Alto.