Angleton, James

Angleton, James (Jesus)

(1917–87) public official; born in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from Yale and in World War II became a member of the Office of Strategic Services. He was director of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (1954–74). He came to distrust everyone and pursued Soviet agents within the CIA itself as well as throughout the world. His resignation was demanded (1974) following news that he had conducted clandestine mail-opening and surveillance searches within the agency in pursuit of a Soviet "mole." The quintessential parody of a suspicious intelligence officer, he was said to relax by reading poetry and cultivating orchids.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.