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Valenti's Sexuality Was Topic For FBI

"He said that he enjoyed Valenti's company very much on a social basis inasmuch as Valenti possessed a dynamic and very interesting personality. He said that he could never under any circumstances consider Valenti as 'sexually attractive,' but merely thought of him as a very charming and intelligent individual."

The photographer said he was sure that Valenti did not know he was attracted to men. At the end of the interview, the photographer was so distraught that he was "unable to make available a signed statement."

Hoover and Johnson were apprised, and the matter appears to have been dropped. The investigation did not seem to sour Valenti's relations with Hoover.

Two years later, Hoover sent Valenti his "heartiest congratulations" on the birth of his son. Two months after that, Hoover sent a letter of praise that was read at a testimonial dinner in Valenti's honor in Houston.

"Mr. Valenti's loyalty, devotion and dedication to the basic principles of this country have become hallmarks of the Federal Government," Hoover wrote.

Valenti responded that he would always treasure Hoover's remarks.

"Words are simply too frail to express to you adequately the depth of my gratitude for the magnificent letter," Valenti wrote. "This is something I shall always treasure."


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