Martin A. Torgler Inducted 2005 - Class of 1964
Martin Torgler grew up in the "best place any place, Point Place" and attended Kleis Elementary and Point Place Junior High before entering Woodward as a freshman in the fall of 1960. His high school buddies were Dave Kornowa, John Intagliata, Ferris Genide, Ted and Dan Wetzel, Bill Welever and Doug Woodbury.
Martin says Woodward coaches Charles Mathews, Jocko Gordon and Sonny Smith all had a profound effect on him; from Mr. Mathews devotion to the track team members to Jocko Gordon's no "B.S." discipline to Sonny who still shows an interest in his former players. He also remembers Mr. Foos mixing physics with humor and Dave McMurray's dry sense of humor. He also mentions that, "I didn't know it until I graduated, but I wish that I would have listened more to Mrs. Grace Kellermeier."
When he left the halls of Woodward, he traveled to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and earned a
B.S. in Education in 1968. Marty credits Coach Charles Mathews as being a major factor in his attending Miami University. He returned to Toledo and worked as a teacher for Toledo Public Schools for three years.
In 1971, Martin left education behind and was hired as a Special Agent of The Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, Director. It seems like quite a jump from teacher to special agent, but he says that although there was a myth for many years that you needed either a law or accounting degree to become an FBI agent, there were other degrees that could open the door for you.
A list of his career highlights sounds like the story lines for several detective movies. In 1977, he worked undercover to help break up an organized theft ring that had infiltrated major air carriers in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Detroit. From 1982-1984, he was "president” Of "Flag Chemical Company" which was operated covertly by the FBI to obtain municipal contracts that required kickbacks. Convictions from that operation included the mayor of Atlantic City and a New Jersey LaCosa Nostra boss. Martin was the Case Agent in the first case in FBI history when phones in a judge's chambers were tapped in 1992. In 1994, he was the Case Agent in an FBI Investigation of police corruption in Detroit involving the mayor's family and the cover-up of a drive by shooting that killed a twelve year old child.
From 1997-2001, he created a task force in partnership with the Detroit Police Department's Internal Controls Section. This task force investigated police corruption including theft, sale and planting of drugs, falsification of reports, perjury and R.I.C.O. (organized crime) violations by members the Detroit Police Department. The task force accomplished two things. First, the task force effected over twenty-five convictions. Second, it prompted the FBI to produce a training video based on the information and convictions from the task force. This video, "Project Integrity", is used in police training academies nationwide.
Martin was the captain for the "Pigs" football team in 1974 and 1975. This team played in the Danny Thomas Charitable Football Game to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. These games raised over $100,000. For over twenty years, Martin was invited by Coach Bo Schembechler to address the University of Michigan football team regarding problems facing college athletes. He talked about alcohol, drugs, gambling, sports agents and more. And, as he says, "Most listened, some did not."
Marty has been married to his wife Christy for twenty-six years. She works in radio broadcast sales. They have one son, Brett, who is a junior at Grosse Pointe High School and is considering a career in medicine.
Marty retired in 2001. He is currently an active member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is also the director of Corporate Security with Combine International, Inc., headquartered in Troy, Michigan.
Welcome home to Woodward, Special Agent Torgler! The drive and discipline you learned at Woodward took you into a career that we can only begin to imagine!