Spies and Spooks: The (Mis)Adventures of the CIA

Colonel William J. Donovan, known as
Bettmann / CORBIS

Spiritual Father
Colonel William J. Donovan, known as Wild Bill, led the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), America's World War II spy agency. Donovan and his protégé Allen Dulles lobbied Franklin Roosevelt to continue a unified intelligence agency once the war was over (no such outfit existed before). At the end of the conflict, however, the super-secret OSS suffered a number of operational embarrassments and, more important, was mistrusted by the new President, Harry Truman, who disbanded it. Donovan's OSS, nevertheless, was the inspiration for the Central Intelligence Agency, which was created in 1947.

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