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List of FBI Directors

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Title: List of FBI Directors  
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List of FBI Directors

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and responsible for the day-to-day operations. Along with the deputy director, the director ensures cases and operations are handled correctly. The director also is in charge of staffing the leadership in any one of the FBI field offices with qualified agents. The director briefed the president on any issues that arise from within the FBI until the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was enacted in response to the September 11 attacks. Since then, the director reports to the Director of National Intelligence, who in turn reports to the president.[1]

Directors are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the senate. In theory, they serve ten-year terms unless they resign, die, or are let go; in reality, none have served a full ten years, except J. Edgar Hoover and Robert Mueller, each of whom served longer than ten years. J. Edgar Hoover, appointed by Calvin Coolidge to the predecessor office of Director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, was by far the longest-serving director; he held the position from its establishment under the current title in 1935 until his death in 1972 because there was then no law limiting service time. The current FBI director is James Comey, who assumed his position on September 4, 2013.

When the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was established in 1908, its head was called the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.[2] It was changed to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation since the term of William J. Flynn (1919–1921), and to its current name when the BOI was renamed FBI in 1935.

Bureau of Investigation chiefs and directors (1908 to 1935)

# Picture Name Period[2] Length Notes
1 Stanley Finch July 26, 1908 – April 30, 1912 3 years, 9 months Chief of the BOI
2 A. Bruce Bielaski April 30, 1912 – February 10, 1919 6 years, 10 months
William E. Allen February 10, 1919 – June 30, 1919 4 months Acting Chief of the BOI
3 William J. Flynn July 1, 1919 – August 21, 1921 2 years, 2 months Director of the BOI
4 William J. Burns August 22, 1921 – May 10, 1924 2 years, 9 months
5 J. Edgar Hoover May 10, 1924 – June 30, 1935 11 years, 1 month Director of the BOI

Federal Bureau of Investigation directors (1935 to present)

# Picture Name Period[2] Length Notes
1 J. Edgar Hoover July 1, 1935 – May 2, 1972 36 years, 10 months Director of the FBI. Died at his Washington, D.C. home on May 2, 1972, from a heart attack.
L. Patrick Gray May 3, 1972 – April 27, 1973 11 months Acting Director of the FBI
William Ruckelshaus April 30, 1973 – July 9, 1973 3 months Acting Director of the FBI
2 Clarence M. Kelley July 9, 1973 – February 15, 1978 4 years, 6 months
James B. Adams February 15, 1978 – February 23, 1978 8 days Acting Director of the FBI
3 William H. Webster February 23, 1978 – May 25, 1987 9 years, 3 months
John E. Otto May 26, 1987 – November 2, 1987 7 months Acting Director of the FBI
4 William S. Sessions November 2, 1987 – July 19, 1993 6 years, 8 months
Floyd I. Clarke July 19, 1993 – September 1, 1993 2 months Acting Director of the FBI
5 Louis Freeh September 1, 1993 – June 25, 2001 7 years, 9 months
Thomas J. Pickard June 25, 2001 – September 4, 2001 3 months Acting Director of the FBI
6 Robert Mueller September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013 12 years
7 James Comey September 4, 2013 – present


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