Celebrating Agents of Asian Ancestry: Joseph Louie

Joseph Louie served from 1966 to 1990 and is the third known special agent of Asian ancestry. He served in San Diego, San Francisco, and Honolulu and was legal attaché at FBI posts in Manilla and Hong Kong.

Video Transcript

I’m Joseph Louie. I come from a family of immigrant parents, and I joined the Bureau in 1966 and I retired in 1991. I was the third Asian to be hired by the FBI.

I’m not sure if it was novel, I think it was more of a surprise type of a thing where the FBI was this great organization and all of a sudden you are invited to join the ranks or at least to try to join the ranks. When you present that to the family or to my parents, they would always say, "Why do you want to do it?" or "What would you want to do working for (what they call or thought was a police organization, which it wasn’t)?"

And I told them that if you ever, if the opportunity was there and you don’t take it, you would never know what you miss or what you didn’t miss. So, I seized upon it and my mother, always the matriarch of the family, tried to convince my wife that I should stay with IRS and try to tell her to convince me not to accept the job, which obviously failed.

If you were selected for being an agent, that was a prime job. I don’t think they really cared if you were black, white, or purple. It was just that if you qualified, if you could do the job, that’s what is the greatest thing about joining the Bureau is the fact that thank goodness I qualified and was able to do the work and had a fantastic life and had enough without making me rich, but has at least it supported the family, two boys to college, so got the job done and hope that whatever I did was a contribution to this great nation of ours.

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