Working With J. Edgar Hoover - Eye Witness

SA Charlie Kleinkauf (RIP) entered on duty as a clerical employee in 1931. In 1932, he was assigned to night clerical duties which included having direct contact with J. Edgar Hoover (JEH) (and other ranking Bureau personnel) regularly on an array of matters.  He worked the early teletype system, decoded messages, joked with JEH and Helen Gandy, and took calls from SAC’s like Melvin Purvis. Two of those calls from Purvis alone are memorable. One, that Inspector Cowley had died from his wounds at the Barrington, Il. and another call that Dillinger was dead. Both, among others, to be relayed to JEH at home. 

In 1939, Kleinkauf was appointed special agent.  

In 1993, Kleinkauf submitted 5 pages of notes to “Grapevine” Editor Larry Heim regarding his early Bureau days. His notes were sanitized and appeared in a later article in the Bureau's internal magazine. 

Recently, a family member provided us his original 5 pages of typed notes, among other items, for inclusion at our website. 

While we’re sifting the documents, we did post these notes for others to read. 

Read the Kleinkauf notes of his 1930’s early days at FBIHQ.  As Kelinkauf typed, “I had the unique experience of working in a capacity which today would be unheard of.”  

Read Kleinkauf's notes of his early FBI career

"Charlie’s recollections are absolutely fascinating!  They show the human side of JEH, and it appears that he wasn’t such a dictatorial person as many had painted him.  I was in the same unit at FBIHQ as Ed Appel, son of the Charles Appel mentioned by Charlie in his recollections.  Ed shared with us some interesting tidbits about his dad’s early days in the Bureau."

"Thanks for all that you do to preserve the history and memories of the FBI that we all care so much about!

Best wishes,