Episode 186: John Glover – FBI 100th Anniversary of African American Special Agents

Retired Agent Dr. John Glover, Ph.D. served in the FBI for 23 years. He became an Executive Assistant Director, one of three direct reports to the FBI Director and highest-ranking African American in the FBI. His last promotion marked the fifth time he had become the top black agent in the FBI and marked his remarkable and well-earned climb up the ranks. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, John Glover reviews the history of African American special agents in the FBI from 1919 through 2019, why diversity, especially in law enforcement, matters, and recounts stories from his extraordinary career in the FBI.

John Glover received his appointment as a Special Agent with the FBI in October 1966. Following a period of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, he was assigned to the Kansas City Field Office in Missouri, where he served until February 1968, when he was transferred to the Washington, D.C. Field Office. In December 1972, he was transferred to the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA, as the FBI’s first African American Firearms and Defensive Tactics Instructor.  In January 1974, he was promoted to supervisor in the Identification Division, FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. John Glover became an inspector’s aide in the Inspection Division, FBI Headquarters, from August 1975 to August 1976, when he assumed supervisory duties in the Laboratory Division. He then continued his series of “firsts” with his transfer and promotion to the Newark Field Office as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of all FBI operations in the state of New Jersey, before being designated as an inspector in the Planning and Inspection Division in July 1978.

John Glover made FBI history again when he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division in February 1979, where he was in charge of all FBI operations in the state of Wisconsin. In April 1980, he was reassigned as the Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta, Georgia Office, where he oversaw the FBI investigation of the killings of black youths in Atlanta. The joint state-federal inquiry led to the arrest and conviction of Wayne Williams. John Glover was named Assistant Director of the Inspection Division in September 1982, another first for an African American agent, and in April 1986, he was designated Executive Assistant Director for Administration, at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. On March 31, 1989.

Executive Assistant Director (Retired)

John Glover

1966 – 1989








“A diverse organization is a better organization, a more effective organization. That counts for the FBI as well.” —Retired Executive Assistant Director John Glover

The following are articles about John Glover, diversity in the FBI and the 100th Anniversary of African American Special Agents:

FBI Website:  The FBI Celebrates 100 Years of African-American Special Agents

FBI Website:  FBI Events Mark 100 Years Since First African-American Special Agent

FBI Website:  James Amos – A Byte Out of History, One African-American Special Agent’s Story

FBI Website:  Special Agent Edwin R. Woodriffe – Street Renaming Honors First African-American FBI Agent Killed in Line of Duty

Pacific Standard – 3/20/2018:  THE FBI HAS A SERIOUS DIVERSITY PROBLEM

NBC News – 8/19/2019:   FBI agent applications up sharply, along with job satisfaction

FBI Jobs Website:  The Diversity Agent Recruitment (DAR) Program

Also check out Episode 014: Wayne Davis – Director Hoover and FBI Diversity

During 2019 the FBI Celebrates 100 Years of African-American Special Agents








The employment application for James Wormley Jones, believed to have been the first African American special agent hired by the Bureau of Investigation, the forerunner of the FBI.












Ebony Magazine: The Negro in the FBI, page 29. Read article here.












A 1984 special FBI recruitment article had John Glover and Jerri Williams (me) on the magazine’s cover.














Dr. John Glover was a key note speaker at several of the 100th Anniversary of African American Special Agent events.










Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

1 Comment

  1. John SmallmanNovember 10, 2019

    Solid boss as I recall, I served eighteen months in the Rossville, GA Resident Agency working for Senior Resident Agent Al Millard, among the best ever. Al thought very highly of Mr. Glover, anyone who knew Al would treasure his endorsement.


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