The Most Famous CIA Agent: A Ranking of Notable Figures

Choose the agent you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 2, 2023 10:48)
Are you ready to embark on a thrilling mission to uncover the most famous CIA agent of all time? At StrawPoll, we have assembled a top-secret list of elite spies who have made their mark in the world of espionage, and now it's your turn to be the decision-maker! Will it be Valerie Plame, whose identity was controversially leaked, or perhaps Aldrich Ames, the notorious double agent? Or maybe you have a secret favorite undercover operative that's missing from our list? Venture into the covert world of intrigue and danger, and cast your vote now for the most legendary CIA agent or suggest an option that's yet to be declassified. Don't just remain a passive observer; take part in this classified operation, and help us determine the ultimate master of espionage. The mission is yours, should you choose to accept it.

Who Is the Most Famous CIA Agent?

  1. 1
    Known as the "Father of the CIA" and served as the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. He was instrumental in the creation of the CIA after the war.
    William Donovan in other rankings
  2. 2
    Allen Dulles
    US Government · Public domain
    Served as the director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961 and oversaw a number of covert operations, including the overthrow of Iran's Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953.
  3. 3
    Richard Helms
    CIA-employee (or so we hope) · Public domain
    Served as the director of the CIA from 1966 to 1973 and oversaw a number of controversial operations, including the CIA's involvement in the Watergate scandal.
    Richard Helms in other rankings
  4. 4
    Served as the chief of counterintelligence for the CIA from 1954 to 1975 and played a key role in the agency's efforts to uncover Soviet spies in the US.
  5. 5
    Served as the director of the CIA from 1973 to 1976 and oversaw a number of controversial operations, including the agency's involvement in the Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War.
  6. 6
    A former CIA officer who was convicted of espionage in 1994 for selling classified information to the Soviet Union and Russia. His actions led to the deaths of several US intelligence assets.
    Aldrich Ames in other rankings
  7. 7
    Valerie Plame
    Hunter Kahn · Public domain
    A former CIA officer who was exposed as a covert operative by members of the Bush administration in 2003 in retaliation for her husband's criticism of the Iraq War. Her case became a major political scandal.
  8. 8
    A former contractor for the CIA who leaked classified information about the agency's surveillance programs to the media in 2013. His actions sparked a global debate about government surveillance and privacy.
    Edward Snowden in other rankings
  9. 9
    Gina Haspel
    Central Intelligence Agency · Public domain
    The first female director of the CIA, appointed by President Trump in 2018. Haspel has a long career with the agency, including serving as the chief of station in London and overseeing the CIA's controversial interrogation program.
  10. 10
    While not a CIA agent, Barr served as the attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and oversaw the agency's investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal. He was also involved in the pardoning of several high-level officials involved in the scandal.

Missing your favorite agent?


About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous CIA agent. 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!


  • 138 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 cia agent

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is one of the most well-known intelligence agencies in the world. It was established in 1947 and has since been responsible for gathering and analyzing intelligence information for the US government. The agency's work is often shrouded in secrecy, with agents operating covertly in foreign countries to gather information on potential threats to national security. Over the years, the CIA has employed many famous agents, some of whom have gained notoriety for their actions and achievements. From the likes of William Donovan, the first director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), to Aldrich Ames, a former CIA officer who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, the agency has had its fair share of both heroes and villains. But when it comes to the most famous CIA agent, many people would likely think of one name: Edward Snowden. Snowden's decision to leak classified information about the agency's surveillance programs in 2013 made him a household name and sparked a global debate about privacy and government surveillance. While Snowden's actions may have been controversial, they also brought attention to the work of the CIA and the importance of protecting national security while respecting individual privacy. Today, the agency continues to operate both domestically and abroad, working to gather and analyze intelligence information that helps protect the United States and its interests around the world.

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