Famous American Spies

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Did you know that the spy films that you just can’t get much of are actually more or less virtual presentation from real life episodes? Do you know that howsoever it may seem to be too good to be true, spies actually exist? Though Hollywood has glorified the image of spies in the virtual world, spies in the real world rarely get their worth. They risk their life for their country and play the greatest role in gathering valuable information both for peace and war but rarely get acknowledged for their deeds. Every country in the world has its own list of spies who have given much to their nation at the cost of even death and their American counterparts are no less. While talking of American spies the first name that strikes the mind is that of Nathan Hale. He is famously known as the first American spy. Hale voluntarily served as espionage during the Battle of Long Island. Other prominent names include James Armistead Lafayette who became the first African American double agent, Belle Boyd who served during the American civil war. Check this segment and find out in detail about famous American spies who provided top-secret classified information to America about their rival nations and groups.
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 1 
Nathan Hale
(American Soldier, Patriot, and Spy for the Continental Army During the American Revolutionary War)
Nathan Hale
3
Birthdate: June 6, 1755
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coventry, Connecticut, United States
Died: September 22, 1776

Nathan Hale was an American soldier, Patriot, and spy who worked for the Continental Army. He played an important role during the American Revolutionary War, volunteering for an intelligence-gathering mission. Nathan Hale was captured and executed by the British in 1776. Hale is regarded as an American hero for his important contribution during the American Revolutionary War. 

 2 
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.

 3 
Clyde Tolson
(1st Associate Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Clyde Tolson
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laredo, Missouri, United States
Died: April 14, 1975

Clyde Tolson was an American associate director of the FBI from 1930 to 1972. He is perhaps best remembered for his relationship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover; it has been speculated that Clyde Tolson shared an intimate relationship with Hoover.

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 4 
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.

 5 
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.
 6 
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.

 7 
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.

 8 
Peggy Shippen
(The Highest Paid Spy in the American Revolution)
Peggy Shippen
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1760
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 24, 1804

Peggy Shippen was a spy who was active during the American Revolution. She was the highest-paid spy and worked alongside her husband General Benedict Arnold, who started conspiring with the British in the late-1770s. Peggy Shippen's role in the conspiracy was exposed in September 1780, when British Major John André was captured by the Americans.

 9 
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.

 10 
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.

 11 
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.

 12 
James Armistead Lafayette
(American Spy Who Worked as a Double Agent During the American Revolutionary War)
James Armistead Lafayette
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Kent County, Virginia, or Elizabeth City
Died: August 9, 1830

James Armistead Lafayette was an enslaved African American. He is best remembered for his service in the Continental Army during the famous American Revolutionary War, where he worked under the command of a French aristocrat and military officer named Lafayette. He worked as a double agent, feeding the British with wrong information and disclosing accurate information to the Americans.

 13 
Noshir Gowadia
(Former Design Engineer and Convicted Spy for Several Countries)
Noshir Gowadia
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Noshir Gowadia is a former design engineer. A convicted spy for several countries, Gowadia was indicted for selling classified information to individuals in Switzerland, Germany, and Israel and to China. Noshir Gowadia received a 32-year prison sentence in 2011.

 14 
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.

 15 
Belle Boyd
(Confederate Spy in the American Civil War)
Belle Boyd
2
Birthdate: May 9, 1844
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Martinsburg, Virginia
Died: June 11, 1900

Belle Boyd was a Confederate spy who was active during the American Civil War. Operating from her father's hotel in Virginia, Boyd provided key information to Confederate Commander Stonewall Jackson in 1862. Belle Boyd's life and career inspired a series of silent films called The Girl Spy.

 16 
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.

 17 
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.

 18 
Rose O'Neal Greenhow
(American Confederate Spy Who was Active During the American Civil War)
Rose O'Neal Greenhow
0
Birthdate: 1814 AD
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Maryland, United States
Died: October 1, 1864

Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a well-known Confederate spy who was active during the American Civil War. She is credited with securing the South's victory at the Battle of First Manassas in July 1861. After her demise, Rose O'Neal Greenhow was given a Confederate military funeral.

 19 
Elizabeth Van Lew
(Abolitionist Known for Operating a Spy Ring for ‘Union Army’ during ‘American Civil War’)
Elizabeth Van Lew
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1818
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: September 25, 1900
 20 
Sarah Emma Edmonds
(The Second Woman Who was Admitted Into the Grand Army of the Republic)
Sarah Emma Edmonds
2
Birthdate: 1841
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Magaguadavic, Canada
Died: September 5, 1898
 21 
Sam Davis
(Confederate Soldier Who was Executed by Union Forces and Remembered for His Courage and Loyalty)
Sam Davis
1
Birthdate: October 6, 1842
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States
Died: November 27, 1863
 22 
Lydia Barrington Darragh
(American Revolutionary War Heroine Who is Said to Have Saved Continental Army from British Attack)
Lydia Barrington Darragh
1
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: December 28, 1789
 23 
Edward Bancroft
(Double Agent Who Worked for Both Great Britain and America During the American Revolution)
Edward Bancroft
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1821

Edward Bancroft was a Massachusetts-born chemist and physician. He played an important role during the American Revolution, working as a double agent for both Great Britain and the United States. Edward Bancroft's activity as a double agent wasn't disclosed until 1891, when diplomatic papers were made public knowledge by Great Britain.

 24 
Lafayette C. Baker
(American Detective and Spy Who Served the Union Army during the 'American Civil War')
Lafayette C. Baker
1
Birthdate: October 13, 1826
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stafford, New York, United States
Died: July 3, 1868

American detective Lafayette C. Baker who served the Union Army during the American Civil War, is also remembered for his espionage activities. He apparently spied on the Confederate Army for General Winfield Scott. However, in spite of heading the Union intelligence forces, he was sacked for allegedly spying on President Andrew Johnson.

 25 
John Honeyman
(British Informant and American Spy for George Washington)
John Honeyman
0
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Birthplace: Armagh, Ireland
Died: August 18, 1822

John Honeyman was a British informant and American spy for George Washington, the first president of the United States. His primarily duty was to spread disinformation. John Honeyman also gathered the intelligence that facilitated George Washington's triumph in the Battle of Trenton.

 26 
Herbert Philbrick
(An FBI Spy Who Spied on the US Communist Party)
Herbert Philbrick
1
Birthdate: May 11, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rye, New Hampshire, United States
Died: August 16, 1993

American spy Herbert Philbrick worked for the FBI and conducted intelligence operations on the Communist Party in the US. While working for the Massachusetts Youth Council, he suspected them of having Communist links and soon began spying on them for the government. He later penned the bestseller I Led Three Lives.

 27 
Ralph McGehee
(American Secret Agent Who Spied on Communists for the CIA)
Ralph McGehee
1
Birthdate: April 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: United States
Died: May 2, 2020

American secret agent Ralph McGehee worked for the CIA for over 2 decades. Chiefly known for his fight against Communism, he worked in various Asian and South East Asian countries, such as Vietnam. His book Deadly Deceits later revealed some of the most glaring flaws of the CIA.

 28 
Benjamin Thomas Wolf
(Democratic Candidate and Former FBI Agent)
Benjamin Thomas Wolf
0
Birthdate: 1975 AD
Birthplace: Kent, Ohio

Democratic Party member Benjamin Thomas Wolf, who ran for and lost the election to the 5th Congressional District of Illinois, has also worked with the FBI. He has also been a professor in Chicago. He was known as the Cannabis Candidate, as he promised to legalize cannabis if he won.

 29 
Robert J. Lamphere
(FBI Agent Who Exposed Many Soviet Spies Who Spied on the Manhattan Project)
Robert J. Lamphere
0
Birthdate: February 14, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wardner, Idaho, United States
Died: January 7, 2002

Robert J. Lamphere worked as an agent for the FBI and helped the US counter some the most notorious intelligence attacks, including the Soviet espionage strategy that threatened to wreck the Manhattan Project, leading to the arrest of many Soviet spies. Post-retirement, he headed the Veterans Administration as a deputy administrator.