Melvin PURVIS

Family tree of Melvin PURVIS

American politician

AmericanBorn Melvin Horace PURVIS

American law enforcement official and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent

Born on October 24, 1903 in Timmonsville, South Carolina, USA , United States

Died on February 29, 1960 in Florence, South Carolina, USA

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Purvis was born in Timmonsville, South Carolina, to Melvin Horace Purvis, Sr. (1869–1938), a pig farmer, and Janie Elizabeth (née Mims, 1874–1927) as the fifth of twelve siblings.

Career



...   Purvis was born in Timmonsville, South Carolina, to Melvin Horace Purvis, Sr. (1869–1938), a pig farmer, and Janie Elizabeth (née Mims, 1874–1927) as the fifth of twelve siblings.

Career



Purvis received his law degree from the University of South Carolina and had a brief career as a lawyer. Purvis was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order while attending South Carolina. He joined the FBI in 1927, and headed the Division of Investigation offices in Birmingham, Oklahoma City and Cincinnati. In 1932 he was placed in charge of the Chicago office by Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover. He was a well-educated man, known to be a crack shot. He captured more public enemies than any other agent in FBI history, a record that still stands.



Purvis led the manhunts that tracked outlaws Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd, and most famously John Dillinger, which ended in Chicago on July 22, 1934. However, after Purvis became a media figure for this feat, Hoover claimed that Purvis had been demoted and that agent Samuel P. Cowley had been put in charge of the Dillinger case. Cowley was later shot by Baby Face Nelson, and Purvis visited him in the hospital shortly before he died. Purvis was praised for his actions. He reportedly incurred the wrath of Hoover, who had previously supported him, as Purvis sought and achieved publicity for his own role, overshadowing Hoover and the rest of the FBI. In a 2005 book co-authored by Purvis's son Alston, Hoover is portrayed as jealous of the attention given to Purvis after Dillinger was killed.



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Geographical origins

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