The secret origin of J. Edgar Hoover's nickname

The secret origin of J. Edgar Hoover’s nickname

FBI newsletter obtained by Russ Kick offers an official explanation for why senior staff could call Hoover “Speed”

Written by
Edited by Beryl Lipton

One of the lesser-known scandals associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most infamous Director, J. Edgar Hoover, is that for years, he answered to his childhod nickname, “Speed.”

While various sources have attributed the name to everything from Hoover’s habit of talking quickly (allegedly to mask a stutter) …

to his swiftness on the football field (a sport he never played) …

an official FBI newsletter released to Russ Kick offers the official origin story.

Yep, dude was just really good at groceries.

This is further confirmed by Hoover’s own account

though, as with anything coming directly from Hoover, it’s best to adopt an attitude of “distrust, but verify.”

Read the full newsletter on Kick’s page, The Memory Hole 2. Kick does great work, so please consider donating here. Additionally, the first part of Hoover’s personal FBI file is embedded below.

Image via Library of Congress