The Most Famous American Spy: A Ranking of Noteworthy Operatives

Choose the spy you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 08:02
Step into the world of espionage and uncover the secrets of America's most famous spies! StrawPoll invites you to join the ranks of fellow spy enthusiasts as we embark on a thrilling mission to determine the most famous American spy of all time. From Cold War legends to modern-day intelligence heroes, our list of enigmatic agents is bound to intrigue and captivate your curiosity. But the power to decide who takes the top spot lies in your hands! Cast your vote, debate with others, and even suggest a missing name in our ever-evolving dossier. Are you ready to delve into the shadowy realm of spies, double agents, and covert operations? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, begins right here at StrawPoll.

Who Is the Most Famous American Spy?

  1. 1
    Aldrich Ames is a former CIA officer who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. He betrayed the identities of numerous CIA agents, resulting in at least 10 deaths.
    Aldrich Ames in other rankings
  2. 2
    Robert Hanssen - another former FBI agent who spied for the Soviet Union and Russia. He provided classified information for over 20 years and was ultimately caught in 2001.
    Robert Hanssen in other rankings
  3. 3
    Jonathan Pollard
    U.S. Navy · Public domain
    Jonathan Pollard is a former US Navy analyst who was convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s. He provided classified information on US intelligence operations to Israel, resulting in one of the worst intelligence breaches in US history.
    Jonathan Pollard in other rankings
  4. 4
    Klaus Fuchs
    The National Archives UK · Public domain

    Klaus Fuchs

    Klaus Fuchs
    Klaus Fuchs is a German-born physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. He was later revealed to have been a spy for the Soviet Union, passing on valuable information about the atomic bomb.
    Klaus Fuchs was a German-born physicist and Soviet spy who played a crucial role in passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union during the Manhattan Project.
    • Nationality: German
    • Occupation: Physicist
    • Affiliation: Soviet Union
    • Espionage Operation: Soviet atomic bomb spy ring
    • Targeted Information: Atomic bomb secrets
    Klaus Fuchs in other rankings
  5. 5
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is a married couple who were convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. They were executed in 1953, becoming the first civilians to be executed for espionage in US history.
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in other rankings
  6. 6
    George Blake
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    George Blake is a British spy who worked for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He provided valuable information to the KGB for over a decade before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963.
    George Blake in other rankings
  7. 7

    Richard Sorge

    Richard Sorge
    Richard Sorge is a German spy who worked for the Soviet Union during World War II. He operated as a journalist in Japan and provided critical intelligence on Japan's plans to attack the Soviet Union.
    Richard Sorge was a Soviet intelligence officer who operated undercover as a journalist in both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War II. He is considered one of the most successful spies in history.
    • Nationality: German/Soviet
    • Aliases: Ramsay
    • Cover Occupation: Journalist
    • Espionage Operations: Germany and Japan
    • Affiliation: Soviet Union
    Richard Sorge in other rankings
  8. 8
    Sydney Reilly is a British spy who operated in the early 20th century. He was known as the "Ace of Spies" and was involved in numerous espionage operations, including attempts to overthrow the Bolshevik government in Russia.
  9. 9
    William Donovan - the founder of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. Donovan was involved in numerous espionage operations during World War II and is often credited with laying the groundwork for modern American intelligence operations.
    William Donovan in other rankings
  10. 10
    Edward Snowden is a former NSA contractor who leaked classified information about US surveillance programs in 2013. Snowden's actions sparked a worldwide debate about privacy and government surveillance.
    Edward Snowden in other rankings

Missing your favorite spy?


Ranking factors for famous spy

  1. Level of impact
    The extent to which the spy's activities and intelligence gathering impacted national security and foreign relations.
  2. Popularity
    The extent to which the spy's identity and actions became well known to the public, either through media coverage or historical records.
  3. Covert abilities
    The spy's ability to operate and gather intelligence undetected by foreign adversaries or intelligence agencies.
  4. Historical significance
    The extent to which the spy's activities were historically significant and contributed to the shaping of American intelligence-gathering strategies.
  5. Level of risk
    The amount of risk and danger the spy put themselves in order to gather intelligence.
  6. Duration of service
    The length of time the spy served the American intelligence community and the volume of intelligence they gathered over that time.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous American spy. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Agent is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 105 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Agent once every 24 hours. The rank of each Agent is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous american spy

Background Information: Who is the Most Famous American Spy? Throughout history, the world of espionage has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue. From James Bond to Ethan Hunt, the public has always been fascinated by the secret lives of spies. However, in the real world, the identities of most spies are kept under wraps, making it difficult to discern who the most famous ones are. When it comes to American spies, there are a few notable names that immediately come to mind. One of the most famous is Aldrich Ames, who served as a CIA officer during the 1980s and early 1990s. He was ultimately caught and convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, and is widely regarded as one of the most damaging spies in American history. Another well-known American spy is Robert Hanssen, who worked for the FBI and sold secrets to the Soviet Union and later Russia from 1979 to 2001. He was caught and convicted in 2001, and is currently serving a life sentence in prison. Of course, these are just a few examples of the many American spies who have operated throughout history. From the Revolutionary War to the Cold War and beyond, the world of espionage has been a fascinating and complex one, full of intrigue, danger, and high-stakes secrets.

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