Spies List of Famous Spies

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List of famous spys, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top spys in the world? This includes the most prominent spys, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable spys is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic spys were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned spys.

List includes Ian Fleming, Whittaker Chambers and more.

From reputable, prominent, and well known spys to the lesser known spys of today, these are some of the best professionals in the spy field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous spys ever?" and "What are the names of famous spys?" then you're in the right place. (66 items)

Josephine Baker is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Spies
Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the "Black Pearl," "Bronze Venus" and even the "Creole ...more

Ian Fleming is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Spies
Ian Lancaster Fleming was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the ...more

Whittaker Chambers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Spies
Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers and also known as David Whittaker Chambers, was an American writer and editor. After his early years as a Communist Party USA member and Soviet spy, ...more

Guy Burgess is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Spies
Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess was a British radio producer, intelligence officer and Foreign Office official. He was a member of the Cambridge Five spy ring that passed Western secrets to the ...more

Mata Hari is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Spies
Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Frisian exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing ...more

Daniel Defoe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Spies
Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy, now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest ...more

Paul Revere is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Spies
Paul Revere was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and a patriot in the American Revolution. He is most famous for alerting the Colonial militia to the approach of British ...more

Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Spies
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban, QC, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of ...more

Robert Hanssen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Spies
Robert Philip Hanssen is a former US Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years from 1979 to 2001. He is ...more

Kirsty Sword Gusmão is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Spies
Kirsty Sword Gusmão is married to Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister and former President of Timor-Leste. She is the founding director of the Alola Foundation, which seeks to improve ...more

Allan Pinkerton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Spies
Allan Pinkerton was a Scottish American detective and spy, best known for creating the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

Mark Felt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Spies
William Mark Felt, Sr. was an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who retired as the Bureau's Associate Director in 1973. After denying his involvement with reporters Bob Woodward and ...more

Christopher Marlowe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Spies
Christopher Marlowe was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day. He greatly influenced William Shakespeare, ...more

Dieter Gerhardt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Spies
Dieter Felix Gerhardt is a former commodore in the South African Navy and commander of the strategic Simon's Town naval dockyard. He was arrested by the FBI in New York in 1983 following ...more

Edward Lee Howard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Spies
Edward Lee Victor Howard was a CIA case officer who defected to the Soviet Union.

Jack Soble is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Spies
Jack Soble Jack Soble was a Lithuanian who, together with his brother Robert Soblen, penetrated Leon Trotsky's entourage for Soviet intelligence in the 1920s. Later, in the United States, he was jailed ...more

Lionel Crabb is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Spies
Lionel Kenneth Phillip Crabb, OBE, GM, known as Buster Crabb was a British Royal Navy frogman and MI6 diver who vanished during a reconnaissance mission around a Soviet cruiser berthed at ...more

Markus Wolf is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Spies
Markus Johannes "Mischa" Wolf was head of the Main Directorate for Reconnaissance, the foreign intelligence division of East Germany's Ministry for State Security. He was the MfS's ...more

Geoffrey Pyke is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Spies
Geoffrey Nathaniel Joseph Pyke was an English journalist, educationalist, and later an inventor whose clever, but unorthodox, ideas could be difficult to implement. In lifestyle and appearance, ...more

John Thurloe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Spies
John Thurloe was a secretary to the council of state in Protectorate England and spymaster for Oliver Cromwell.

Kim Philby is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Spies
Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963. He served as both an ...more

Martin Hollis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Spies
Martin Hollis is a computer and video game designer and the founder and CEO of Zoonami. He has worked in the computer and video game industry since 1996 and was Head of Software at Rare. He was ...more

Joan Pujol Garcia is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Spies
Joan Pujol Garcia MBE deliberately became a double agent during World War II, known by the British codename Garbo and the German codename Arabel. Pujol had the rare, if not unique, distinction ...more

Roger Hollis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Spies
Sir Roger Henry Hollis, KBE, CB was a British journalist and intelligence officer, who was Director General of MI5 from 1956 to 1965.

Richard Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Spies
Richard John Charles Tomlinson is a New Zealand-born British former Secret Intelligence Service officer. His career is notable because he believed he had been subject to unfair dismissal from ...more

Thomas Jordan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Spies
Thomas Jordan was a Confederate general and major operative in the network of Confederate spies during the American Civil War. A career soldier in the armies of three nations, he had previously ...more

Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Iro... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Spies
Field Marshal William Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside GCB, CMG, DSO was a British military commander, who served as Chief of the Imperial General Staff during the first year of the Second ...more

William Melville is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Spies
William Melville was an Irish law enforcement officer and the first chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service, forerunner of MI5.

Arkady Shevchenko is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Spies
Arkady Nikolayevich Shevchenko, a Soviet diplomat, was the highest-ranking Soviet official to defect to the West. Shevchenko joined the diplomatic service of the Soviet Union as a young man and ...more

Francis Walsingham is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Spies
Sir Francis Walsingham was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Born to a ...more

John Barlow is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Spies
John Barlow was an English diplomat and spy in the time of Henry VIII.

Elizabeth Van Lew is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Spies
Elizabeth Van Lew was a Richmond, Virginia abolitionist and philanthropist who built and operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civil War.

Eli Cohen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Spies
Eliahu ben Shaoul Cohen was an Israeli spy. He is best known for his espionage work in 1961 - 1965 in Syria, where he developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy and ...more

Dušan Popov is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Spies
Dušan Popov Dušan "Duško" Popov OBE was a Serbian double agent working for MI5 during World War II under the code name "Tricycle" and the Abwehr under the code name "Ivan".

Oleg Gordievsky is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Spies
Oleg Gordievsky Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky, CMG, is a former colonel of the KGB and KGB Resident-designate and bureau chief in London, who was a secret agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service from 1974 ...more

Lafayette C. Baker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Spies
Lafayette Curry Baker was a United States investigator and spy, serving the Union Army, during the American Civil War and under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Anatoliy Golitsyn is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Spies
Anatoliy Golitsyn Anatoliy Mikhaylovich Golitsyn CBE is a Soviet KGB defector and author of two books about the long-term deception strategy of the KGB leadership. He was born in Piryatin, Ukrainian SSR. He ...more

Ursula Kuczynski is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Spies
Ursula Kuczynski Ursula Ruth Kuczynski was a German author and spy who worked for the Soviet Union.

Oleg Penkovsky is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Spies
Oleg Penkovsky Oleg Vladimirovich Penkovsky, codenamed HERO, was a colonel with Soviet military intelligence during the late 1950s and early 1960s who informed the United Kingdom and the United States about ...more

Rudolf Hamburger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Spies
Rudolf Hamburger Rudolf Hamburger was an architect and a spy.

Sir Richard Willis, 1st Barone... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Spies
Sir Richard Willis, 1st Baronet Sir Richard Willis, 1st Baronet was a Royalist officer during the English Civil War, and a double agent working for the Parliamentarians during the Interregnum.

Spencer Kellogg Brown is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Spies
Spencer Kellogg Brown Spencer Kellogg Brown was born August 17, 1842 in Kansas. His family moved to Missouri. In retaliation for what was known as the Pottawatomie massacre, pro-slavery forces sacked Osawatomie on ...more

Refaat Al-Gammal is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Spies
Refaat Al-Gammal Refaat Ali Suleiman Al-Gammal, better known as Raafat Al-Haggan in Egypt and as Jack Beton in Israel, was an Egyptian spy who spent 17 years performing clandestine operations in Israel. Egyptian ...more

Sarah Aaronsohn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Spies
Sarah Aaronsohn Sarah Aaronsohn was a member of Nili, a ring of Jewish spies working for the British in World War I, and a sister of notable botanist Aaron Aaronsohn. Sometimes she is referred to as the ...more

Gilbert Gifford is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Spies
Gilbert Gifford Gilbert Gifford was a double agent who worked for Sir Francis Walsingham and played a role in the uncovering of the Babington Plot. Shortly before his death in Paris, he was ordained as a ...more

Thomas Fowler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Spies
Thomas Fowler Thomas Fowler, English lawyer, diplomat, courtier, spy, servant of the Countess of Lennox, broker of the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, steward of the Earl of Leicester, ...more

Stig Wennerström is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Spies
Stig Wennerström Stig Erik Constans Wennerström was a colonel in the Swedish Air Force who was convicted of treason in 1964. During the 1950s, he leaked the Swedish air defence plans and the entire Saab ...more

Stig Bergling is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Spies
Stig Bergling Stig Bergling, later Eugén Sandberg and Stig Svante Eugén Sydholt was a Swedish Security Service officer who spied for the Soviet Union.

Aline Griffith, Countess of Ro... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Spies
Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones Doña María Aline Griffith Dexter, Countess of Romanones, spouse of a deceased Grandee of Spain is a Spanish-American aristocrat, socialite, and writer who worked in the US Office ...more

Victor Norris Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Spies
Victor Norris Hamilton Victor Norris Hamilton, a Palestine-born American cryptologist, defected to the Soviet Union in 1963. He was rediscovered in a mental hospital in Russia in 1992, where he had been for 20 years.