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L. Patrick Gray

Louis Patrick Gray, III

Louis Patrick Gray, III
Acting Director
May 3, 1972 - April 27, 1973

Louis Patrick Gray, III was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 18, 1916. He attended schools in St. Louis and Houston, Texas. After attending Rice University for a period, Mr. Gray enrolled at the United States Naval Academy and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1940. The Navy commissioned Mr. Gray as a line officer and he served throughout World War II and the Korean War.

In 1949, between his two tours of duty, Mr. Gray received a J.D. degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice before the Washington D.C. Bar in 1949; later he was admitted to practice law by the Connecticut State Bar, the United States Military Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Claims, and the United States Supreme Court. After retiring from the Navy in 1960 with the rank of Captain, Mr. Gray served as military assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1961, he entered private practice.

In the late 1960s, Mr. Gray returned to the federal government and worked in the Nixon administration in several different positions. In 1970, President Nixon appointed Mr. Gray as assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in the Department of Justice. In 1972, Mr. Gray was appointed deputy attorney general, but before he could be confirmed by the full Senate, his nomination was withdrawn. Instead, President Nixon designated him as Acting Director of the FBI. Gray served in this position for less than a year.

Directors, Then and Now

- James B. Comey, 2013-Present
- Robert S. Mueller, III, 2001-2013
- Thomas J. Pickard (acting), 2001
- Louis J. Freeh, 1993-2001
- Floyd I. Clarke (acting), 1993
- William S. Sessions, 1987-1993
- John E. Otto (acting), 1987
- William H. Webster, 1978-1987
- James B. Adams (acting), 1978
- Clarence M. Kelley, 1973-1978
- William D. Ruckelshaus (acting), 1973
- L. Patrick Gray (acting), 1972-1973
- J. Edgar Hoover, 1924-1972
- William J. Burns, 1921-1924
- William J. Flynn, 1919-1921
- William E. Allen (acting), 1919
- Alexander B. Bielaski, 1912-1919
- Stanley W. Finch, 1908-1912

‪The FBI Director:
Background on the Position‬
‪Since its beginning in 1908, the FBI has been led by a single individual. At first called “Chief,” this leader has been titled “Director” since the term of William Flynn (1919-1921). The FBI Director has answered directly to the attorney general since the 1920s.‬ ‪Under the Omnibus Crime Control Act and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Public Law 90-3351, the Director is appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate. On October 15, 1976, in reaction to the extraordinary 48-year term of J. Edgar Hoover, Congress passed Public Law 94-503, limiting the FBI Director to a single term of no longer than 10 years. ‪Details