Spies

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 Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming.
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Famous As: Author of James Bond Series
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 Robert Hanssen

Robert Philip Hanssen.
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Famous As: Former FBI Agent & Spy for the Soviet Union
Birthdate: April 18, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago

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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 3 Eli Cohen

Eli Cohen.
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: December 6, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.

 4 Mata Hari

Mata Hari.
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Famous As: Dutch exotic dancer
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.
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 5 Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel Rosenberg.
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: September 28, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 19, 1953

 6 Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova.
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Famous As: Womanizer
Birthdate: April 2, 1725
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: June 4, 1798
Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova is best remembered for his memoir, Histoire de ma vie, which serves as a mirror of 18th-century European lifestyle. His countless affairs made him synonymous with the word "womanizer." He also befriended the European royalty and church authorities, and was quite fond of gambling.
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 7 Hiroo Onoda

Hiroo Onoda.
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Famous As: Imperial Japanese Army Intelligence officer
Birthdate: March 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kainan, Wakayama, Empire of 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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 8 Kim Philby

Kim Philby.
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Famous As: Intelligence Agent
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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 9 Aldrich Ames

Aldrich Ames.
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Famous As: Former CIA Officer & Agent for the Soviet Union & Russia
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.

 10 Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe.
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Famous As: Novelist, Journalist & Merchant
Birthdate: September 13, 1660
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 24, 1731
Daniel Defoe was an English trader, pamphleteer, and spy, who is best remembered for his 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. He also helped in popularizing the novel format of writing in Britain. He was a forerunner of business journalism, too, and also traded in hosiery, woollen goods, and wine.
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 11 John André

John Andre.
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Famous As: 18th Century British Army Officer & Spy
Birthdate: May 2, 1750
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London
Died: October 2, 1780

 12 Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale.
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Famous As: American Martyr
Birthdate: June 6, 1755
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coventry, Connecticut
Died: September 22, 1776
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 13 Anna Chapman

Anna Chapman.
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Famous As: Media Personality
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.

 14 Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen.
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: July 11, 1760
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 24, 1804

 15 Tony Mendez

Tony Mendez.
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Famous As: CIA Officer
Birthdate: November 15, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eureka, Nevada, United States
Died: January 19, 2019

 16 Clyde Tolson

Clyde Tolson.
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Famous As: Associate Director of the FBI
Birthdate: May 22, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laredo, Missouri, United States
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 17 Noor Inayat Khan

Noor Inayat Khan.
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: January 1, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russian Empire
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.

 18 Klaus Fuchs

Klaus Fuchs.
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Famous As: Theoretical Physicist and Atomic Spy
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.

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 19 E. Howard Hunt

E. Howard Hunt.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamburg, New York, United States
Died: January 23, 2007

 20 Ramón Mercader

Ramón Mercader.
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Famous As: Leon Trotsky's Killer
Birthdate: February 7, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: October 18, 1978

Ramón Mercader was a Spanish NKVD agent and communist who killed Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky with an ice axe in August 1940. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and was honored with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union post his release in 1961. Over the years, Ramón Mercader has been the subject of many documentaries.

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 21 John Cairncross

John Cairncross
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Famous As: British civil servant
Birthdate: July 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Died: October 8, 1995

 22 Virginia Hall

Virginia Hall .
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Famous As: American Spy
Birthdate: April 6, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
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.
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 23 Donald Maclean

Donald Maclean
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Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: May 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 6, 1983

 24 Odette Hallowes

Odette Hallowes
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Famous As: Intelligence agent
Birthdate: April 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amiens, France
Died: March 13, 1995
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 25 David Greenglass

David Greenglass
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: March 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: July 1, 2014

 26 Luis Posada Carriles

Luis Posada Carriles
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Famous As: Intelligence agent
Birthdate: February 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Died: May 23, 2018
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 27 James Armistead Lafayette

James Armistead Lafayette.
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: December 10, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Kent County, Virginia, or Elizabeth City
Died: August 9, 1830

 28 Theodore Hall

Theodore Hall
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: November 1, 1999
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 29 Edwin P. Wilson

Edwin P. Wilson
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: May 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nampa, Idaho, United States
Died: September 10, 2012

 30 Josef Jakobs

Josef Jakobs
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: June 30, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Luxembourg
Died: August 15, 1941
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 31 Belle Boyd

Belly Boyd.
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Famous As: Confederate Spy in the American Civil War
Birthdate: May 9, 1844
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Martinsburg, Virginia
Died: June 11, 1900

 32 Peter Wright

Peter Wright
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Famous As: Intelligence officer
Birthdate: August 9, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chesterfield, England
Died: April 27, 1995
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 33 Elizabeth Van Lew

Elizabeth Van Lew
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: October 12, 1818
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: September 25, 1900

 34 Konon Molody

Konon Molody
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Famous As: Soviet spy
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cobalt, Canada
Died: September 9, 1970

 35 Ursula Kuczynski

Ursula Kuczynski
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: May 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: July 7, 2000

 36 John Vassall

John Vassall
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: September 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: November 18, 1996

 37 Sarah Emma Edmonds

Sarah Emma Edmonds
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Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: November 30, 1841
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Magaguadavic, Canada
Died: September 5, 1898

 38 George Koval

George Abramovich Koval.
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Famous As: U.S. Born Soviet Spy
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 Madeleine Damerment

Madeleine Damerment
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: November 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: September 13, 1944

 40 Antoinette de Maignelais

Antoinette de Maignelais
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Famous As: Chief mistress of Charles VII
Birthdate: 1434 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: 1474 AD

 41 Andree Borrel

Andree Borrel
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: November 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bécon-les-Bruyères, France
Died: July 6, 1944

 42 Alan Nunn May

Alan Nunn May
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 2, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: 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.

 43 Lydia Barrington Darragh

Lydia Barrington Darragh
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Famous As: War Heroine
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: December 28, 1789

 44 Pearl Cornioley

Pearl Cornioley
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Famous As: British wartime agent
Birthdate: June 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 24, 2008

 45 Benita von Falkenhayn

Benita von Falkenhayn
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: August 14, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 18, 1935

 46 Edward Bancroft

Edward Bancroft
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1821

 47 Laurence Oliphant

Laurence Oliphant
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 3, 1829
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Died: December 23, 1888

 48 Lafayette C. Baker

Lafayette C. Baker
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Famous As: Investigator
Birthdate: October 13, 1826
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stafford, New York, United States
Died: July 3, 1868

 49 Israel Beer

Israel Beer
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: October 9, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 1, 1966

 50 Herbert Philbrick

Herbert Philbrick
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Famous As: Spy
Birthdate: May 11, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rye, New Hampshire, United States
Died: August 16, 1993
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