Out of all the US law enforcement agencies, the FBI has one of the most fascinating history.
It began life as the the no-frills old Bureau of Investigation.
But since then, the FBI has been on the front line of battle against crime in the US
Its history includes fighting with armed bank robbers during the Great Depression to being involved in the war on drugs and terror in the 21st century.
The role of agents is massively glamorized in Hollywood, but it certainly takes a certain type of person to become an agent.
The FBI is currently recruiting, and some of its agents have achieved extraordinary things in their roles.
Find out more about the five FBI agents in history who excelled in this stimulating career:
Charles Winstead was involved in many high-profile cases in the 1930s and 40s; he is best known for being the agent that is most likely to have fired the shot that put down the infamous gangster John Dillinger.
The “Dillinger gang” was suspected of robbing 24 banks and four police stations.
He was also key in tracking down another gangster “Baby Face” Nelson, but is perhaps not as recognised as he should be, due to a falling out with FBI chief J Edgar Hoover.
Which brings us to….
J Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover was the first and most contentious FBI Director and was arguably the most influential out of all of them.
The ex- Justice Department worker was made leader of the Bureau in 1924.
At the time, agents could not explore crimes across national boundaries and didn’t have the power to arrest suspects.
Hoover’s led reforms of the FBI which meant the innovation of a new, much more influential FBI.
His reign saw the beginning of the scientific crime-fighting methods against American criminals and spies.
His agents were accountable for ending the careers of infamous criminal masterminds such as “Machine Gun” Kelly and John Dillinger, as well as Soviet agents such as David Greenglass and Harry Gold.
He was also well-known for his smear tactics and paranoia, but without Hoover, there certainly wouldn’t have been a modern FBI.
Joaquin “Jack” Garcia
Joaquin “Jack” Garcia did an incredible job as an undercover agent in the 1980s.
He was born in Cuba in the 1950s; the 6’4 Garcia successfully played numerous underworld roles in more than 100 different operations.
“Jack Falcone” was the most well-known of his performances, an apparent Sicilian thief and drug dealer.
He managed to infiltrate the notorious Gambino Mafia crime family in New York for nearly three years.
The case resulted in the arrest and conviction of 32 mobsters.
Garcia’s incredible record means he is usually referred to as the FBI’s “greatest undercover agent.”
Mark Felt (a.k.a. “Deep Throat”)
Whistleblowers aren’t always well known public figures.
The whole point of whistle-blowing is that your identity is not revealed.
Mark Felt, better known as “Deep Throat”, became legendary.
This was possibly for his codename – inspired by a 1970s porn movie – and also bringing down President Nixon after the Watergate scandal.
Felt fed information to reporters on the notorious break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters, which eventually led to the downfall of the president.
The information exposed a huge cover-up in the FBI,CIA and even the President’s Office.
He was eventually unmasked more than 30 years after the Watergate scandal in Vanity Fair magazine.
Clyde Tolson was J. Edgar Hoover’s closest friend and protege during his many years in the FBI, and was also his lover.
Tolson joined the FBI in 1927 and went up to the Assistant Director position in three years, taking part in the organization’s reform when it became a genuine threat to criminals.
Working as Hoover’s right-hand man, he was part of the arrests of notorious “public enemies” such as Harry Brunette and Alvin Karpis and was always at the FBI director’s side.
The two spent their free time together, took holidays together, and are even buried a few feet from each other.
His impact on the director was one of the most influential forces in shaping the modern FBI into how we know it today.