In 1960, Joan Pierce became a nun at the Monastery of the Brothers of Mercy and began teaching history at Catholic schools in New York. Nothing, however, predicted that a few years later he would become an FBI agent.
According to grunge.com, Pierce was a nun for 12 years when she began to change her mind. Born in 1941, she had lived and attended school in New York for most of her life and was fully committed to her profession as a nun. But when she turned 30, Pierce realized she wanted to get married and have children.
The nun who became an FBI agent
As he contemplated leaving the convent, an FBI agent showed up for a career day at the school where he was teaching. Sister Joan then liked what she heard and asked the agent if they were hiring. The answer was yes, but only for officials. According to grunge.com, its then director FBI, J. Edgar Hoover forbade women to be special agents. Nevertheless, Pierce was hired as a researcher in 1970.
When Hoover died in 1972, Pierce said she wanted to apply to become an agent. Although her boss warned her that the work was intense, she was ready for a challenge as she and another woman, Susan Roley Malone, along with 43 other men began training at the FBI Academy near Quantico, Virginia.
One of the first female FBI agents
The training was exhausting, grunge.com reports, and she later revealed that the hardest part was the fitness tests. After 14 weeks, she passed and was assigned to a branch in St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly afterwards, the newly arrived agent became part of the action. Although harmless, her new career was certainly far removed from her previously protected lifestyle as a nun. Pierce later married a colleague of hers, Michael Misco, and as Joan Misco, she later worked in Pittsburgh and Miami.
She retired in 1994 after 22 years due to lack of opportunity to further her career in the office. The same year, Joan Misko sued the FBI for discrimination. Although she was treated fairly by her colleagues, she believes that she went to many jobs because of her gender. This case was later settled for an unknown amount in 1996. Although she was one of only two female agents to join the FBI in 1972, she does not consider herself a pioneer. As for her career, Joan Misco later said it was not something she planned to do or believed would ever happen in her life.