Aldrich Ames Biography

Aldrich Hazen Ames is a former CIA officer, who was convicted of espionage against his own country in 1994. This biography of Ames profiles his childhood, life, CIA and espionage career, activities and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: May 26, 1941

Nationality: American

Famous: Spies American Men

Sun Sign: Gemini

Age: 77 Years, 77 Year Old Males

Also Known As: Aldrich Hazen Ames

Born in: River Falls, Wisconsin

Famous as: Former CIA Officer & Agent for the Soviet Union & Russia

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Nancy Segebarth (div.) Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy

father: Carleton Cecil Ames

mother: Rachel Aldrich Ames

City, States, Provinces & Districts: Wisconsin

More Facts

education: University of Chicago, George Washington University, McLean High School

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Aldrich Hazen Ames is a former CIA officer, who had an over three decade long career with the ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) of America, and convicted of espionage against his own country in 1994. As a counterintelligence officer and analyst, he was assigned by the ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ to detect spies of the Soviet Union. On the other hand he himself became a double agent, spying for the Soviet Union and later Russia. Aldrich Ames, who sold secret information to the Soviet KGB and later to Russia, earned millions and became the highest paid double agent in the history of the United States. His espionage included providing names of double agents and other operatives in the Soviet intelligence who worked for the United States. His information led to arrests, confinement as also execution of some of the best agents of the US by Soviet Union authorities, making him a pernicious double agent who jeopardized security and intelligence services of the United States. After being convicted, he was given a life sentence and is presently serving the sentence in the ‘Allenwood U.S. Penitentiary’.

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Aldrich Ames
Childhood & Early Life
  • He was born on May 26, 1941, in River Falls, Wisconsin. He was the eldest and only son among three children of Carleton Cecil Ames, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Rachel Ames, an English teacher of a high school.
  • His father served the CIA from 1952 till retirement. In 1953 the family accompanied his father when Carleton was transferred to Southeast Asia for a period of three years.
  • He studied at the ‘McLean High School’ in McLean, Virginia. His passion for theatre made him participate in plays during his high school days.
  • During his student days, he served as a low-ranking (GS-3) records analyst with the CIA for three summers starting from 1957.
  • He studied at the ‘University of Chicago’ from 1959 but did not complete his sophomore year as his intense love for theatre led to failing grades.
  • He served as a labourer in the CIA during 1960 summer and later worked in a Chicago theatre as an assistant technical director till February 1962.
  • He worked full time at the CIA in clerical position after he came back to Washington.
  • He received a B.A. degree in history from ‘George Washington University’ in 1967.
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Career
  • After he achieved the grade of GS-7 along with good performance appraisals, he was inducted in the ‘Career Trainee Program’ of the CIA and continued to work for them.
  • From 1969 to 1972 he was posted to Ankara, Turkey and was delegated the task of targeting officers of Soviet intelligence who could be appointed as US spies. In this pursuit he permeated the Communist Dev-Genç organization through student activist Deniz Gezmiş’s roommate. Despite this endeavour his performance rating was marked as only satisfactory, and he thought of quitting the CIA.
  • Coming back to the CIA headquarters in 1972 he was inducted in the Soviet-East European (SE) Division where he worked for the next four years.
  • He was posted in New York in 1976 and his handling of two significant agents of the Soviet Union along with outstanding execution of work fetched him a number of promotions and bonuses. However due to his negligence that resulted in two significant security infringements, he faced verbal admonition.
  • After a mediocre performance in Mexico from 1981, he returned to Washington in September 1983 where the CIA delegated him in the Department of Operations of the SE division that undertook Soviet counterintelligence activities. He had access to all CIA strategies and activities that were planned to counter Soviet security agency ‘KGB’ and their prime military foreign-intelligence service ‘GRU’.
  • As he also rendered service to one of the CIA offices that determined prospective US spies inside Soviet Embassy, it was a known fact that as per his task he would approach prospects in the Embassy. Thus under the nose of CIA and FBI, who would not suspect him, he sold information to the Soviet Union in April 1985 and earned $50,000.
  • In no time he pinpointed over ten sources of FBI and CIA who were spying on activities of Soviet Union. This resulted in a sudden waning of CIA agents in the Soviets. While the CIA sensed something wrong they were initially sceptical in considering a hand of a double agent.
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  • CIA suspected Edward Lee Howard, their former agent, to be in this racket but as CIA lost three more agents about whom Howard had no knowledge, it became clear that someone else was behind all this.
  • In the meantime Aldrich Ames received around $4.6 million from the Soviets and started living a lavish life beyond the normal means of a CIA officer. In an attempt to cover up his present position he made up a story that he received a fortune from the wealthy Columbian family of his newly wedded wife María del Rosario. He would also send money to the new in-laws for improving their status to make his story look real.
  • After a posting in Rome in 1986, he was taken back in the Counterintelligence Center Analysis Group of CIA during 1990 to 1991 when he had access to crucial information including that on American double agents.
  • When the CIA started probing on his finances, they were deflected by a CIA officer from abroad with a fake story that infiltration of the Soviets in the CIA was a result of a USSR born employee.
  • Although he passed two polygraph tests conducted in 1986 and 1991 respectively, the CIA became more vigilant when his extravagant lifestyle and sudden acquisition of movable and immovable properties became more visible, which did not match with his CIA income.
  • The CIA and FBI started a thorough investigation on him in March 1993 and after November 1993 he was kept under continuous surveillance including tracking his car.
  • On February 21, 1994 he was arrested along with his wife. The next day the ‘United States Department of Justice’ charged them for their espionage with the Soviet Union and Russia against the United States. He admitted his acts of espionage in the court. While he was given life sentence, his wife got a five year imprisonment.
  • He is now prisoner #40087-083 of the ‘Federal Bureau of Prisons’ who is facing his confinement in the ‘Allenwood U.S. Penitentiary’ under high security arrangements.
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Personal Life
  • He married Nancy Segebarth, another CIA officer in 1969. As CIA prohibits married couples to work as officers in same office, Nancy resigned from the job after Aldrich Ames was posted to Ankara, Turkey.
  • When he was assigned to Mexico City in 1981, Nancy stayed back in New York. There he became involved in several extramarital affairs.
  • His affair with María del Rosario Casas Dupuy started in October 1982. He did not inform his superiors in the CIA about his relationship with a foreign national, although regulations of CIA demanded such disclosure.
  • In October 1983 he separated from his wife and officially divorced her around August 1985. Immediately after their divorce he married María. María supported him in his illicit activities.
  • His drinking habit often posed hindrances in his career and work with the CIA.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Aldrich Ames Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/aldrich-ames-6958.php
Last Updated
- October 23, 2017

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Aldrich Ames