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J. Edgar Hoover - Born On Capitol Hill

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John Edgar Hoover was born in Washington, D.C., on January 1, 1895. Annie Marie Scheitlin Hoover and Dickerson Naylor Hoover had four children and Edgar was the youngest. Everyone in the family, except his mother, called him J. E. The family lived at 413 Seward Square, a row house located behind the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Dickerson, like his father before him, worked for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. He was chief of the printing division but was forced to resign in 1917 following a mental breakdown. Annie was the greatest influence on young Edgar. She held old-fashioned values and made sure her children did too. Edgar stuttered as a youth but overcame the problem when he read an article that said talking faster not slower would help, and it worked.

Edgar was frail and not athletic as a child, but he put his energy into areas where he knew he could excel. Working after school delivering groceries, he found the more trips he made the more tips he received. So he would work fast to make as much money as possible each day. That, along with his rapid speech, earned him the nickname "Speedy."

Edgar took up debate and by his junior year at Central High School led the debate team. Hoover found that if he could dominate a conversation he could control it, and that became his trademark. His main interest in high school was the school cadet corps where he moved quickly up through the ranks. By the start of his senior year, Edgar passed the ROTC officers' exam, was promoted to captain, and given command of Company B of the Central High School Cadet Regiment. In 1913 he led his unit in President Woodrow Wilson's (1856–1924; served 1913–21) first inaugural parade. Young Edgar was promoted to command Company A and served as valedictorian (one who graduates at the top of his or her class).

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