Celebrating 40 Years of Female Special Agents
July 19, 2012
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the first time women took their oath of office as FBI special agents.
Mollie Halpern: This month marks the 40th anniversary of the first time women took their oath of office as FBI special agents.
I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau, and this is FBI, This Week.
In the Bureau’s early days, there was an unspoken rule that the special agent position was strictly for men. FBI Historian Dr. John Fox explains…
Dr. John Fox: As the Bureau’s responsibilities began to change in the 1920s, and especially into the 1930s with the gun fights with the gangsters, the expectations of agents changed in a very patriarchal kind of approach to what positions were appropriate for women.
Halpern: The unspoken rule later became policy—but as times changed, so did the Bureau.
Fox: Within weeks of the death of FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, the acting director, Patrick Gray, announced that the FBI would be accepting applications from female agent candidates.
Halpern: In today’s FBI, more than 2,600 women special agents serve and lead in all roles—from SWAT and counterterrorism squads to executives.
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