Nebraska Authors

Neil J. Welch

Born 1926-08-09 St. Paul , MN (USA)

Died 2017-06-29
Omaha, NE (USA)

Welch, born in Minnesota, grew up in Omaha and after service in WW II, attended both Omaha University and Creighton, earning a law degree from Creighton in 1951. He led an illustrious career with the FBI, which included supervising the famous ABSCAM investigation of bribery and corruption among public officials, resulting in convictions of a U.S. Senator, a number of congressmen, and local office holders. He headed a number of important FBI field offices, including the New York office. His New York Times obituary notes that he was considered a maverick, often critical of FBI Director Hoover and FBI headquarters, which he considered a ponderous and ineffectual bureaucracy "you could put sandbags around the building and shut off the phones ...and the bureau’s criminal investigative work would be better off for it." He quarreled with his superiors and refused to engage in the dirty tricks authorized by the 1970s Cointelpro program that targeted anti-Vietnam War protesters and radical groups from the Socialist Workers Party on the left to the Ku Klux Klan on the right. He won and retained the respect of his field agents. He was considered as a finalist for FBI Director by the Carter Administration, the only serving agent to be considered at the time, but the more politically connected William Webster was chosen instead. Welch vehemently rejected public characterization of him as a maverick, preferring to see himself as just a straight arrow in sometimes difficult circumstances.

Welch's collaborator in writing Inside Hoover's FBI was former U.S. Attorney David W. Marston.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Law Enforcement; Federal Bureau of Investigation


Omaha University, Omaha, NE
Law Degree, Creighton University, Omaha, NE


FBI Agent

Places Worked

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation


Inside Hoover's FBI: The Top Field Chief Reports. with David Marston, 1984.

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Neil J. Welch

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