We still refer to Hammer by his last name alone, at his request. He thinks it makes him sound more sinister. In the late '60s, when Hammer and all of his friends liked to think of themselves as dangerous, you could make him glow by calling him the Hammer, as in "Do you think the Hammer's phone is tapped?"

Apparently it wasn't. Hammer was among the many Americans who had their self-image crushed by the Freedom of Information Act. In 1967 he requested his file, only to be informed that he didn't have an FBI file.

"It's no big deal," I...

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