Famous 20th Century Spies

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 1 
Ian Fleming
(Author of James Bond Series)
Ian Fleming
8
Birthdate: May 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mayfair, London
Died: August 12, 1964

Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.

 2 
Mata Hari
(Dutch Exotic Dancer Who Was Convicted and Executed for Being a Spy)
Mata Hari
6
Birthdate: August 7, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Died: October 15, 1917
Mata Hari was a Dutch courtesan and exotic dancer, charged with spying for Germany during World War I. She was executed by a firing squad in France, and her head was preserved in a museum, but later went missing. The “femme fatale” has been immortalized in many films and books.
 3 
Eli Cohen
(Egyptian-born Israeli Spy)
Eli Cohen
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: May 18, 1965
Israeli spy Eli Cohen is remembered for his espionage activities from 1961 to 1965 in Syria, where he served as the chief advisor to the defense minister. He was eventually convicted and publicly hanged. His story later inspired the Netflix miniseries The Spy and the TV film The Impossible Spy.
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 4 
Hiroo Onoda
(Imperial Japanese Army Intelligence Officer Who Fought in World War II)
Hiroo Onoda
4
Birthdate: March 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kainan, Wakayama, Japan
Died: January 16, 2014
Hiroo Onoda was a Japanese intelligence officer who had served in World War II and was the penultimate Japanese soldier to surrender. He hid in the Philippines for 29 years, unable to figure out the war had ended, until he was officially relieved from duty. He later wrote an autobiography.
 5 
Robert Hanssen
(Former FBI Double Agent Who Spied for Russian Intelligence Services Against the United States from 1979 to 2001)
Robert Hanssen
4
Birthdate: April 18, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Robert Hanssen is a former FBI agent who was convicted of spying against the U.S., for the Russian intelligence agencies. Hanssen reportedly sold countless classified documents containing U.S. nuclear and military strategies. He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. He eventually received 15 life sentences, without parole.

 6 
Ethel Rosenberg
(American Citizen Who was Convicted of Spying in Favor of Soviet Union)
Ethel Rosenberg
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 19, 1953

Ethel Rosenberg was an American citizen who was convicted along with Julius Rosenberg of spying in favor of the Soviet Union. Ethel and Julius were convicted of passing top-secret information about sonar, radar, valuable nuclear weapon designs, and jet propulsion engines to the Soviet Union. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the American government in 1953.

 7 
Klaus Fuchs
(Theoretical Physicist and Atomic Spy)
Klaus Fuchs
5
Birthdate: December 29, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rüsselsheim, German Empire
Died: January 28, 1988

German theoretical physicist Klaus Fuchs worked on many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons. He was also an atomic spy who provided information about nuclear weapons production to the Soviet Union during World War II. He was convicted and jailed for nine years, following which he resumed his career as a physicist.

 8 
Virginia Hall
(American Secret Agent Who Worked in France During World War II)
Virginia Hall
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: July 8, 1982
Virginia Hall worked as a spy, with the U.K. and the U.S., in France during World War II, under the alias Marie and Diane. Her main objective was to conduct espionage for the Allies, against the Nazi regime and the Axis powers. After the war ended, she joined the CIA.
 9 
Kim Philby
(Intelligence Agent)
Kim Philby
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ambala, Punjab, British India
Died: May 11, 1988

British intelligence officer Kim Philby was also a Soviet double agent. He was part of the spy group known as the Cambridge Five and leaked classified information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the Cold War. He later defected to Moscow and spent his final years there.

 10 
E. Howard Hunt
(American Intelligence Officer Who Served in the CIA)
E. Howard Hunt
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamburg, New York, United States
Died: January 23, 2007

E. Howard Hunt was an American author and intelligence officer. He is best remembered for his service in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1949 to 1970, during which he served as an officer. E. Howard Hunt was part of the White House Special Investigations Unit during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

 11 
Aldrich Ames
(Former CIA Officer & Agent for the Soviet Union & Russia)
Aldrich Ames
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: River Falls, Wisconsin

Aldrich Ames is a former CIA officer who later became a KGB double agent. He was convicted of spying and is currently serving a life sentence. He allegedly worked as a Soviet spy and revealed classified CIA data. He inspired the 1998 film Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within.

 12 
Ashraf Marwan
(Egyptian billionaire who worked as a spy for the Israeli Mossad and deceived Israel in 1973 war.)
Ashraf Marwan
1
Birthdate: February 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: June 27, 2007

Ashraf Marwan was an Egyptian billionaire businessman and diplomat. He is best remembered for his work as a spy for Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency. In 2002, it was revealed that Ashraf Marwan had been working for Egyptian Intelligence and that he may have misled Mossad with wrong information in the years leading up to the Yom Kippur War.

 13 
Oleg Gordievsky
(Former Colonel of the KGB and Bureau Chief in London)
Oleg Gordievsky
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Former Soviet security agent Oleg Gordievsky’s 11-year stint as a secret agent with the British intelligence service MI6 resulted in him being labeled a traitor and sentenced to death by Russia. The author of KGB: The Inside Story now lives alone, in a high-security zone in a British suburb.
 14 
Violette Szabo
(British-French Special Operations Executive Agent During the Second World War)
Violette Szabo
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 5, 1945

Violette Szabo was a British-French spy who worked as a Special Operations Executive agent during World War II. During her second mission in occupied France, Violette Szabo was captured by the Germans. She was tortured, interrogated, and deported to Ravensbrück, where she was executed on 5 February 1945 at the age of 23.

 15 
Sidney Gottlieb
(American Chemist and Spymaster Who Headed Project Mkultra)
Sidney Gottlieb
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 7, 1999

Sidney Gottlieb was an American spymaster and chemist who played a major role in the CIA's mind-control program and assassination attempts during the 1950s and 1960s; the illegal human experimentation program which he headed was called Project MKUltra.

 16 
Krystyna Skarbek
(Britain's First and Longest-Serving Female Secret Agent)
Krystyna Skarbek
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trzepnica, Poland
Died: June 15, 1952

The first and the longest-serving British female secret agent, Krystyna Skarbek was born in Poland. Her contribution to the Allies during World War II won her honors such as the OBE and the Croix de Guerre. She was 37 when she was stabbed to death in a London hotel.

 17 
John Cairncross
(British Civil Servant Who Was Accused of Being a Soviet Spy)
John Cairncross
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: October 8, 1995

British civil servant John Cairncross is remembered in history as one of the 5 men of the Cambridge spy ring who served as Soviet spies. He had to give up his civil service job amid accusations of him being a Soviet spy. He later began an academic career, teaching at Northwestern University.

 18 
Donald Maclean
(Diplomat)
Donald Maclean
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 6, 1983

While he was a member of the British Foreign Office, diplomat Donald Maclean was also simultaneously spying for the Soviet Union as part of the Cambridge Five, supplying them confidential information. He eventually vanished from England and reappeared as a Communist in the Soviet Union, years later.

 19 
Savitri Devi
(Spy Who Served the Axis Powers by Committing Acts of Espionage Against the ‘Allied Forces in India')
Savitri Devi
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: October 22, 1982

Born in Lyon, Frenchwoman Maximiani Julia Portas later changed her name to Savitri Devi and adopted Nazism. The ardent cat lover earned a PhD in philosophy and later acquired Greek nationality and served as an Axis spy. She claimed Adolf Hitler was an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

 20 
Theodore Hall
(American Physicist Who was One of the Atomic Spies for the Soviet Union During World War II)
Theodore Hall
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 1, 1999

Theodore Hall was an American physicist. He was one of the atomic spies for the Soviet Union during World War II. Hall gave a detailed description of a plutonium bomb named Fat Man to the Soviet Union. He also passed on vital information such as the processes involved for purifying plutonium. His life inspired a documentary titled A Compassionate Spy.

 21 
Richard Sorge
(Soviet Military Intelligence Officer and Spy Who was Active During World War II)
Richard Sorge
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baku, Azerbaijan
Died: November 7, 1944

Richard Sorge was a German journalist and Soviet military intelligence officer. He was active before and during the Second World War. He worked undercover in both Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan under the codename, "Ramsay." He was arrested, tortured, and hanged in 1944. In 1964, he was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

 22 
Markus Wolf
(German Intelligence Officer Who is Regarded as One of the Best-Known Spymasters During the Cold War)
Markus Wolf
2
Birthdate: January 19, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hechingen, Germany
Died: November 9, 2006

Markus Wolf was a German intelligence officer best remembered for his service as the chief of the Main Directorate for Reconnaissance. He played an important role during the Cold War and is often counted among the most popular spymasters during the war. Thanks to his elusiveness, Markus Wolf was nicknamed the man without a face in the West.

 23 
David Greenglass
(Atomic Spy for the Soviet Union Who Worked on the 'Manhattan Project')
David Greenglass
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Died: July 1, 2014

David Greenglass was an atomic spy who worked for the Soviet Union. He was part of the Manhattan Project and was also stationed at the Clinton Engineer Works, a uranium enrichment facility in Tennessee. David Greenglass' testimony helped convict his brother-in-law Julius and his sister Ethel Rosenberg.

 24 
Duško Popov
(Double agent)
Duško Popov
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Titel, Serbia
Died: August 18, 1981
 25 
Konon Molody
(Soviet spy)
Konon Molody
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cobalt, Canada
Died: September 9, 1970
 26 
William Stephenson
(Canadian Fighter Pilot, Soldier, Spymaster, and Businessman)
William Stephenson
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: North Point Douglas, Winnipeg, Canada
Died: January 31, 1989
 27 
Ursula Kuczynski
(German Communist Activist Who Worked as a Spy for the Soviet Union)
Ursula Kuczynski
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: July 7, 2000

Ursula Kuczynski was a German Communist activist. She is best remembered for her work as a spy for the Soviet Union. She coordinated with Klaus Fuchs, a German atomic spy, who started passing information on the British atomic bomb project through Ursula Kuczynski to the Soviet Union.

 28 
Frank Sturgis
(American Spy Who Worked as an Undercover Agent for the CIA)
Frank Sturgis
0
Birthdate: December 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 4, 1993

Frank Sturgis was an American spy who worked as an undercover agent for the Central Intelligence Agency. He was counted among the five Watergate burglars whose arrest led to the end of Richard Nixon's presidency. Frank Sturgis served in multiple branches of the US military. He also served in the Cuban Revolution of 1958.

 29 
Edwin P. Wilson
(Former CIA Officer Who was Convicted of Illegally Selling Weapons to Libya in 1983)
Edwin P. Wilson
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nampa, Idaho, United States
Died: September 10, 2012

Edwin P. Wilson was a former CIA officer who was convicted of illegally selling weapons to Libya in 1983. He also served as an officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence before his conviction. However, his convictions were overturned in 2003 and Edwin P. Wilson was freed in 2004.

 30 
Theodore Schurch
(The Only British Soldier to be Executed for Treachery During the World War II)
Theodore Schurch
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
Died: January 4, 1946

Theodore Schurch was a British soldier who was captured and executed under the Treachery Act 1940 after World War II. Theodore Schurch became the only British soldier to be executed for treachery during the war. He was also the last British person to be executed for an offence other than homicide.

 31 
Luis Posada Carriles
(Intelligence agent)
Luis Posada Carriles
2
Birthdate: February 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Died: May 23, 2018
 32 
Peter Wright
(The Longest-Serving Scientist of the MI5 Who Authored the Bestseller 'Spycatcher')
Peter Wright
2
Birthdate: August 9, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chesterfield, England
Died: April 27, 1995

Peter Wright was the longest-serving scientist associated with Britain’s counter-intelligence service, MI5. He soared to fame with his international bestseller, Spycatcher, co-written with author Paul Greengrass, which exposed some major flaws of the MI5. He spent his final years in Australia and also became an Australian citizen.

 33 
Tamara Bunke
(Argentine-born East German Spy and Revolutionary)
Tamara Bunke
1
Birthdate: November 19, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: August 31, 1967

Tamara Bunke was an Argentine-born East German spy and revolutionary. She played an important role in the Cuban government and in various revolutionary movements across Latin America. She also fought during the Bolivian insurgency and was killed in an ambush by Bolivian Army Rangers while fighting alongside communist guerrillas led by Che Guevara.

 34 
Violette Morris
(French Athlete and Spy)
Violette Morris
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 26, 1944
 35 
John Vassall
(British Civil Servant Who Spied for the Soviets)
John Vassall
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: England
Died: November 18, 1996

British civil servant John Vassall became a Soviet spy after facing blackmail from the KGB, which threatened to reveal his homosexuality. Initially a war photographer for the RAF, he later assisted the British naval attaché in Moscow. Released after a 10-year imprisonment for his crimes, he changed his surname and settled in London.

 36 
Miles Copeland, Jr.
(CIA Officer Who was Known for His Close Personal Relationship With Egyptian Leader Gamal Abdel Nasser)
Miles Copeland, Jr.
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Died: January 14, 1991

Miles Copeland, Jr. was an American businessman, musician, and Central Intelligence Agency officer. He is remembered for his close friendship with Gamal Abdel Nasser and his famous books on intelligence. Miles Copeland, Jr. played important role in the March 1949 Syrian coup d'état as well as in the 28 Mordad coup d'état, participating in many covert operations in the process.

 37 
John Gardner
(English Spy and Novelist, Best Known for His 'James Bond' Continuation Novels)
John Gardner
2
Birthdate: November 20, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Northumberland, England
Died: August 3, 2007

John Gardner was an English spy and author. He is best remembered for his thriller novels, including the continuation novels containing Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's villain Professor James Moriarty. John Gardner wrote over 50 works of fiction, including 14 original James Bond novels.

 38 
George Koval
(U.S. Born Soviet Spy)
George Koval
1
Birthdate: December 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sioux City, Iowa, United States
Died: January 31, 2006

American chemical engineer George Koval was one of the most significant Soviet spies of the 20th century. Born to Belarusian immigrants in Iowa, Koval later moved to Russia with his family. Codenamed Delmar, he later worked in the U.S. atomic laboratories and supplied classified information to Russia.

 39 
Harro Schulze-Boysen
(German Publicist and Military Officer Who was Active During the Second World War)
Harro Schulze-Boysen
1
Birthdate: September 2, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kiel, Germany
Died: December 22, 1942

Harro Schulze-Boysen was a German publicist and military officer who was active during the Second World War. He is credited with publishing a left-leaning political magazine called Der Gegner (The Opponent). Personalities like Karl Korsch, Ernst von Salomon, and Raoul Hausmann among others contributed to the content of the magazine.

Madeleine Damerment
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: September 13, 1944
 41 
Andree Borrel
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bécon-les-Bruyères, France
Died: July 6, 1944
 42 
Yuri Shvets
(Former Major in the KGB between 1980 and 1990)
Yuri Shvets
0
Birthdate: May 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ukraine
 43 
Sasha Filippov
1
Birthdate: June 26, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Volgograd, Russia
Died: December 23, 1942
 44 
Jovica Stanišić
(Head of the State Security Service (SDB) within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia from 1992 until 1998)
Jovica Stanišić
0
Birthdate: July 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ratkovo, Serbia
 45 
Duncan Scott-Ford
(British Merchant Seaman Who was Executed for Passing Vital Information to Enemy During World War II)
Duncan Scott-Ford
0
Birthdate: September 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plymouth, Devon, England
Died: November 3, 1942

Duncan Scott-Ford was a British merchant seaman. He was accused of passing vital information to an enemy agent during World War II, for which he was executed on 3 November 1942 at the age of 21. Duncan Scott-Ford was part of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy prior to his execution.

 46 
Heba Selim
0
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1974 AD
 47 
Hotsumi Ozaki
(Journalist, Spy)
Hotsumi Ozaki
0
Birthdate: April 29, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan
Died: November 7, 1944
 48 
Alan Nunn May
(British Physicist and the Person Convicted for Supplying Atomic-Bomb Secrets to the Soviet Union)
Alan Nunn May
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bedruthan, Park Hill, Moseley, Birmingham, England
Died: January 12, 2003

British physicist Alan Nunn May went down in history as a traitor who betrayed Britain and the U.S. by passing on confidential information about the Manhattan Project, or the development of the atom bomb, to the Soviet Union, as a spy. Sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, he served 6.

 49 
Eileen Nearne
('Special Operations Executive' Agent During the Second Worlld War)
Eileen Nearne
0
Birthdate: March 15, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 2, 2010

Eileen Nearne was a Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War. She served as a radio operator in occupied France, for which she was honored by the French government with the Croix de Guerre after the war.

 50 
Pearl Cornioley
(British wartime agent)
Pearl Cornioley
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 24, 2008