The FBI kept files on former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger but destroyed them about 10 months before his death, the New York Times reports.
Sulzberger was heading the newspaper during the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which traced the U.S.’s doomed involvement in Vietnam.
The discovery was made by John R. Bohrer, a 28-year-old writer who is working on a book about the FBI’s former director, J. Edgar Hoover.
The National Archives destroyed the records on Dec. 11, 2011 – not long after Sulzberger died on Oct. 4.
“Had the actual file been kept and disseminated, it would have drawn a lot less attention than the eye-popping news that it was destroyed,” Bohrer told the Times. “Personally I am doubtful that there was anything about the Pentagon Papers.”