The FBI kept files on former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger but destroyed them about 10 months before his death, the New York Times reports .
Sulzberger was heading the newspaper during the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which traced the U.S.’s doomed involvement in Vietnam.
The discovery was made by John R. Bohrer, a 28-year-old writer who is working on a book about the FBI’s former director, J. Edgar Hoover.
The National Archives destroyed the records on Dec. 11, 2011 – not long after Sulzberger died on Oct. 4.
“Had the actual file been kept and disseminated, it would have drawn a lot less attention than the eye-popping news that it was destroyed,” Bohrer told the Times. “Personally I am doubtful that there was anything about the Pentagon Papers.”