A. Bruce Bielaski

Alexander Bruce Bielaski (April 2, 1883 – February 19, 1964) was an American lawyer of Lithuanian-Polish origin[1] and director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

A. Bruce Bielaski
Chief of the Bureau of Investigation
In office
April 30, 1912 – February 10, 1919
PresidentWilliam Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Preceded byStanley Finch
Succeeded byWilliam E. Allen (acting)
Personal details
BornApril 2, 1883
Montgomery County, Maryland, United States
DiedFebruary 19, 1964 (aged 80)
Kings Point, New York, U.S.
EducationGeorge Washington University (LLB)

Life and career

Bielaski was born in Montgomery County, Maryland to the son of Methodist minister Alexander Bielaski. He received a law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1904 where he was a founding father of the Gamma Eta chapter of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. That same year he joined the Department of Justice. Like his predecessor Stanley Finch, Bielaski worked his way up through the Justice Department. He served as a special examiner in Oklahoma where he "straightened out the court records" and aided in the reorganization of Oklahoma's court system when the Oklahoma Territory became a state. Returning to Washington, Bielaski entered the Bureau of Investigation and rose to become Finch's assistant. In this position he was in charge of administrative matters for the Bureau. At the end of April 1912, Attorney General George W. Wickersham appointed Bielaski to replace Finch. As Chief, Bielaski oversaw a steady increase in the resources and responsibilities assigned to the Bureau.

After leaving the Bureau in 1919, Bielaski entered into private law practice. According to The New York Times, while on a trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1921, Bielaski was kidnapped. He escaped three days later, saving himself and the ten thousand dollars gathered to rescue him. The local Mexican press accused him of "self-abduction" to gain notoriety. Two weeks later, after he testified before a judge, the case was closed.

Bielaski was very involved in his fraternity and the greater fraternity community. He served three terms as international president of Delt from 1919 to 1925. In 1924 Bielaski was elected Chairman of the National Interfraternity Conference (currently known as the North-American Interfraternity Conference).

Bielaski worked undercover as a Prohibition agent operating a decoy speakeasy in New York City. From 1929 to 1959 he headed the National Board of Fire Underwriters' team of arson investigators. In 1938, Bielaski served as President of the Society of Former Special Agents. He died in February 1964, at the age of eighty.

His grandfather was the Civil War Captain Alexander Bielaski and his uncle was the first Polish American Major League Baseball player, Oscar Bielaski.

His sister Ruth Shipley headed the Passport Division of the United States Department of State for 27 years from 1928 to 1955.[2]


  1. ^ "The Lithuanian FBI boss and his famous sister". vilnews.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  2. ^ New York Times: "Ruth B. Shipley, Ex-Passport Head," November 4, 1966, accessed November 22, 2011; Craig Robertson, The Passport in America: The History of a Document (Oxford University Press, 2010), 200

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Stanley Finch
Chief of the Bureau of Investigation
Succeeded by
William E. Allen
Alexander Bielaski

Alexander Bielaski (born Aleksander Bielawski; August 10, 1811 in Poland – November 7, 1861 in Mississippi County, Missouri) was a civil engineer and Captain in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States' primary federal law enforcement agency, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. The FBI Director is appointed for a single 10-year term by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The FBI is an agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ), and thus the Director reports to the Attorney General of the United States.The Director briefed the President on any issues that arose from within the FBI until the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was enacted following the September 11 attacks. Since then, the Director reports in an additional capacity to the Director of National Intelligence, as the FBI is also part of the United States Intelligence Community.The current Director is Christopher A. Wray, who assumed the role on August 2, 2017 after being confirmed by the United States Senate, taking over from Acting Director Andrew McCabe after the dismissal of former Director James Comey by President Donald Trump.

History of the Poles in the United States

The history of Poles in the United States dates to the American Colonial era. Poles have lived in present-day United States territories for over 400 years—since 1608. There are 10 million Americans of Polish descent in the U.S. today, making it the largest diaspora of Poles in the world. Polish Americans have always been the largest group of Slavic origin in the United States.

Historians divide Polish American immigration into three "waves", the largest from 1870 to 1914, a second after World War II, and a third after Poland's independence in 1989. Most Polish Americans are descended from the first wave, when millions of Poles fled Polish districts of Germany, Russia, and Austria. This group is often called the za chlebem (for bread) immigrants because most were peasants in Poland who did not own land and lacked basic subsistence. The Austrian Poles were from Galicia, unarguably the most destitute region in Europe at the time. Up to a third of the Poles returned to Poland after living in the United States for a few years, but the majority stayed. Substantial research and sociological works such as The Polish Peasant in Europe and America found that many Polish immigrants shared a common objective of someday owning land in the U.S. or back in Poland. Anti-Slavic legislation cut Polish immigration from 1921 to World War II, but opened up after World War II to include many displaced persons from the Holocaust. A third wave, much smaller, came in 1989 when Poland was freed from Communist rule.

Immigrants in all three waves were attracted by the high wages and ample job opportunities for unskilled manual labor in the United States, and were driven to jobs in American mining, meatpacking, construction, steelwork, and heavy industry—in many cases dominating these fields until the mid-20th century. Over 90% of Poles arrived and settled in communities with other Polish immigrants. These communities are called Polonia and the largest such community historically was in Chicago, Illinois. A key feature of Polish life in the Old World had been religion, and in the United States, Catholicism often became an integral part of Polish identity. In the United States, Polish immigrants created communities centered on Catholic religious services, and built hundreds of churches and parish schools in the 20th century.The Polish today are well assimilated into American society. Average incomes have increased from well below average to above average today, and Poles continue to expand into white-collar professional and managerial roles. Poles are still well represented in blue collar construction and industrial trades, and many live in or near urban cities. They are well dispersed throughout the United States, intermarry at high levels, and have a very low rate of language fluency (less than 5% can speak Polish).

James Wormley Jones

James Wormley Jones (September 22, 1884 – December 11, 1958) was an African-American policeman and World War I veteran, and is best known for having been the first African-American FBI special agent.

List of Delta Tau Delta members

Below is a list of notable members of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

List of George Washington University Law School alumni

This is a list of notable alumni of The George Washington University Law School located in Washington, D.C., U.S.

List of George Washington University alumni

This is a list of notable alumni of the George Washington University.

List of Polish Americans

This is a list of notable Polish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

Oscar Bielaski

Oscar Bielaski (March 21, 1847 – November 8, 1911) was an American right fielder and the first Polish-American to play Major League Baseball, playing from 1872 until 1876. His father, Alexander Bielaski, a captain in the Union army, died at the battle of Belmont. A. Bruce Bielaski, head of the Bureau of Investigation, and his sister, Ruth Shipley, head of the State Department's Passport Division, were first cousins of Oscar. Oscar learned to play baseball while enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer.Oscar Bielaski was inducted in the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.Oscar was born in Washington, D.C., and died there, at the age of 64. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Ruth Shipley

Ruth Bielaski Shipley (April 20, 1885 – November 3, 1966) was head of the Passport Division of the United States Department of State for 27 years from 1928 to 1955.

Stanley Finch

Stanley Wellington Finch (July 20, 1872 – 22 November 1951) was the first director of the Bureau of Investigation (1908–1912), which would eventually become the FBI. He would soon retire from office.

Finch was born in Monticello, New York, in 1872. He became a clerk in the United States Department of Justice, where he worked off and on for almost 40 years. Finch rose from the position of clerk to that of chief examiner between 1893 and 1908. It was only while working in the Justice Department that Finch earned his LL.B degree (1908), followed by an LL.M degree (1909) from what is now The George Washington University Law School. The Washington, DC bar association admitted him to practice in 1911.

Previously when the Justice Department needed to investigate a crime it would borrow Secret Service personnel from the Treasury Department. As chief examiner, Finch advocated setting up a squad of detectives within the Justice Department.

Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte created a Special Agent force, and gave oversight of the force, later named the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), to Finch. Thus he created what would become the FBI.

From 1913 to the 1930s, Finch alternated between private employment—primarily in the novelty manufacturing business—and positions in the Department of Justice. He finally retired from the Department of Justice in 1940.

William E. Allen

William Ellam Allen was an acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Investigation (BOI) during 1919. The BOI was a predecessor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).A former assistant in war matters to the chief of the Bureau of Investigation, Allen was appointed acting director on February 10, 1919. Allen resigned the post from June 30, 1919, and was replaced by William J. Flynn.

Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau
of Investigation

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