Few Americans know that the founder of the FBI was no one less than a Bonaparte. Charles Joseph Bonaparte (1851 – 1921) was an American lawyer and politician from Baltimore, Maryland, who served in the cabinet of President Theodore Roosevelt.
His father had been Jérôme Napoléon “Bo” Bonaparte (1805 – 1870) an American farmer, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Society, first president of the Maryland Club and Susan May Williams (1812–1881), from one of the richest families in Maryland.
Bo Bonaparte was the son Jérôme Bonaparte, the last offspring of the Corsican couple Carlo Bonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, former King of Westphalia, 1807–1813 and younger brother of Napoleon I. He was born in Camberwell, England, but lived in the United States with his American mother, Elizabeth Patteson ( 1785 – 1879) a rich socialite.
Bonaparte became first U.S. Secretary of the Navy and later, as Attorney General, created the Bureau of Investigation, which later grew and expanded with J. Edgar Hoover, (1895–1972), who renamed it in 1935: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Bonaparte to serve as Secretary of the Navy and in 1906 he was Attorney General, up to the end of Roosevelt’s term. To his credit, he was nicknamed “Charlie, the Crook Chaser.”