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FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Kept Tabs on the Late Norman Mailer

For the second time in less than a week we learn that the FBI kept tabs on a famous writer. Last week, the FBI released files on the late journalist David Halberstam. Now the Washington Post has obtained files on the late Norman Mailer. And last month, the FBI released its files on the late investigative columnist Jack Anderson who was despised by J. Edgar Hoover.

Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer

By Joe Stephens
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In the summer of 1962, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was scanning his morning Washington Post when an item on Page A15 caught his eye. Norman Mailer’s most recent article in Esquire magazine had mocked Jacqueline Kennedy for, among other things, being excessively soft-spoken for a first lady.
Hoover scribbled a note: “Let me have memo on Norman Mailer.”
Over the next 15 years, FBI agents closely tracked the grand and mundane aspects of the acclaimed novelist’s life, according to previously confidential government files. Agents questioned his friends, scoured his passport file, thumbed through his best-selling books and circulated his photo among informants. They kept records on his appearances at writers’ conferences, talk shows and peace rallies.
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