The Nation: Ms. Agents

In his 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover stoutly — some said male chauvinistically — refused to allow women as special agents. Tracking down Dillingers and other enemies foreign and domestic was man's work, he believed. He continued the ban even in recent years when the FBI's Most Wanted List came to include women, among them Angela Davis and the Weatherman's Bernardine Dohrn.

After Hoover's death last spring, Acting Director L. Patrick Gray decided to abandon the men-only policy. Last week two women were accepted for the FBI's special-agent training program — Susan Lynn Roley, 25,...

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