John Steinbeck was an American writer best known for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. J. Edgar Hoover was on a fight against communism.
He was convinced that Steinbeck was a full-blown Red communist. Steinbeck was a proud patriot who tried to give a voice to the powerless and defenseless. J. Edgar had nothing to charge Steinbeck with, though. Instead, J. Edgar used his power to encourage the IRS to audit Steinbeck’s taxes every single year of his life to be politically annoying.
The FBI denied all allegations that they were harassing Steinbeck let alone have a full fledged investigation going on about him. Steinbeck was heavily tied to communists through the League of American Writers and the United States Communist Party’s John Reed Club for writers. He was in contact with leftist authors, journalists, and labor unions. He was a close associate of playwrite Arthur Miller, too.