Spies

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When we talk of spies, one of the first names that come to mind is that of Mata Hari, the exotic dancer and high class prostitute in Paris who spied for Germany during World War I. However not many spies--people who engage in spying, espionage or clandestine operations—are as glamorous as she was. Sir Francis Walsingham, the principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England who lived centuries before Mata Hari is believed to be the spymaster who developed several of the modern espionage methods. The 19th century spy Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky was chief of Okhrana, the secret service in Imperial Russia who achieved considerable success in controlling Russia’s growing revolutionary movement by way of his political operations. Central Intelligence Agency counterintelligence officer and analyst turned spy Aldrich Hazen Ames compromised a large number of CIA agents—second only to those betrayed by Robert Hanssen, who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years. Former intelligence analyst for the United States government Jonathan Jay Pollard spied for and provided top-secret classified information to Israel. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous spies from all over the world.
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 1 
Mata Hari
(Dutch Exotic Dancer Who Was Convicted and Executed for Being a Spy)
Mata Hari
4
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.
 2 
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.

 3 
Eli Cohen
(Egyptian-born Israeli Spy)
Eli Cohen
4
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.
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 5 
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
Noor Inayat Khan
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: September 13, 1944

Noor Inayat Khan was a British spy who served in a secret British World War II organization called Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the war. She was also the first female radio operator to be sent into occupied France from the UK to aid the French Resistance. She was subsequently caught and executed at a Nazi concentration camp.

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 7 
John André
(Head of the British Secret Service During the American Revolutionary War)
John André
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1750
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 2, 1780
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.

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 9 
Ethel Rosenberg
(American Spy Working for the Soviet Union)
Ethel Rosenberg
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 19, 1953
 10 
Anna Chapman
(Media Personality)
Anna Chapman
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Volgograd, Russia

Anna Chapman is a Russian intelligence agent, media personality, and model. In 2010, she was arrested in US as part of the Illegals Program spy ring. She was later deported to Russia as part of a prisoner swap. Since her return, she has hosted TV shows, worked as a catwalk model, and served as the head of a youth council.

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 11 
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
 12 
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.

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 13 
Klaus Fuchs
(Theoretical Physicist and Atomic Spy)
Klaus Fuchs
3
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.

 14 
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.

 15 
Virginia Hall
(Espionage agent)
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.
 16 
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.
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 17 
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.

 18 
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
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 19 
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
 20 
Manuela Sáenz
(South American Revolutionary and Spy)
Manuela Sáenz
3
Birthdate: December 27, 1795
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Quito, Ecuador
Died: November 23, 1856

Manuela Sáenz was an Ecuadorian revolutionary who supported women's rights. She received the Order of the Sun, honoring her services in the revolution. Today, she is widely regarded as a feminist symbol of the 19th century. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government honored her with the rank of General.

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 21 
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.

 22 
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
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 23 
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.

 24 
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.

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 25 
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, UK
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.

 26 
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.

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 27 
Theodore Hall
(American Physicist and Atomic Spy )
Theodore Hall
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: November 1, 1999
 28 
Odette Hallowes
(British 'Special Operations Executive' in France During the Second World War)
Odette Hallowes
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amiens, France
Died: March 13, 1995
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 29 
Markus Wolf
(German Intelligence Officer )
Markus Wolf
2
Birthdate: January 19, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hechingen, Germany
Died: November 9, 2006
 30 
David Greenglass
(Atomic Spy)
David Greenglass
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: July 1, 2014
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 31 
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
 32 
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.

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 33 
Duško Popov
(Double agent)
Duško Popov
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Titel, Serbia
Died: August 18, 1981
 34 
Noshir Gowadia
(Former Design Engineer and Spy)
Noshir Gowadia
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 35 
William Stephenson
(Fighter pilot, businessman and spymaster who served as the senior representative of the British Security Coordination (BSC) for the western allies during World War II)
William Stephenson
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: North Point Douglas, Winnipeg, Canada
Died: January 31, 1989
 36 
Konon Molody
(Soviet spy)
Konon Molody
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cobalt, Canada
Died: September 9, 1970
 37 
Theodore Schurch
(British Soldier and Double Agent)
Theodore Schurch
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
Died: January 4, 1946
 38 
Edwin P. Wilson
(Former CIA and Naval Intelligence Officer )
Edwin P. Wilson
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nampa, Idaho, United States
Died: September 10, 2012
 39 
Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy
(Gained notoriety as a spy for the German Empire)
Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1847
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 21, 1923
 40 
Ursula Kuczynski
(German Communist Activist and Spy)
Ursula Kuczynski
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: July 7, 2000
 41 
Luis Posada Carriles
(Intelligence agent)
Luis Posada Carriles
2
Birthdate: February 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Died: May 23, 2018
 42 
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
 43 
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
 44 
Frank Sturgis
(American Spy)
Frank Sturgis
0
Birthdate: December 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 4, 1993
 45 
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.

 46 
Josef Jakobs
(German Spy)
Josef Jakobs
2
Birthdate: June 30, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Luxembourg
Died: August 15, 1941
 47 
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
 48 
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
 49 
John Vassall
(British Civil Servant Who Spied for the Soviets)
John Vassall
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
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.

 50 
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