Allen Dulles

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Watertown, New York
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Watertown, New York

Allen Welsh Dulles was the CIA’s first civilian director and the agency’s longest-serving director. Dulles was a member of the ‘American Whig-Cliosophic Society’ since he was a child, and he had a deep interest in the political concerns that afflicted his nation. Because he lived during a period when the globe was ripped apart by World Wars, Allen’s years as a diplomat and a member of the CIA were some of the most difficult of his career. He was instrumental in assisting the United States in gathering information on Adolf Hitler and his objectives in order to bring an end to his heinous regime. Dulles’ actions were vital in the capture of German forces stationed near Italy. In the book ‘The Craft of Intelligence,’ he writes about his experiences as a diplomat and CIA official. He was well-liked by some of history’s most powerful dictators, including Benito Mussolini and Vladimir Lenin.

Childhood and Adolescence

Allen Dulles was born in New York on April 7, 1893, to Edith and Allen Macy Dulles, a preacher. He was one of four siblings. Allen came from a family with a long history in politics. His maternal grandfather, John Foster, and uncle, Robert Lansing, both served as United States secretaries of state.

Dulles received his schooling at Princeton University, which is known for its academic excellence. Dulles was a member of the ‘American Whig Clisophic Society’ during his time at the University, which was a group of students that got together for political and literary activities, as well as discussions.

Career of Allen Dulles

In 1916, Dulles was assigned to the American Diplomatic Service. It is said that while serving in the US Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, Dulles disclosed the infamous document ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ a manuscript that celebrates Adolf Hitler’s and the Nazis’ atrocities.

In 1926, Dulles moved his profession from diplomacy to law. He studied law at the ‘George Washington University Law School.’ Following his graduation, Dulles went to work for the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
In the late 1920s, Dulles served as a legal consultant to the delegation of armaments limits linked with the ‘League of Nations.’ During his time as Secretary of State, Dulles engaged with international leaders such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

After a brief visit to Nazi-controlled Germany, Dulles was troubled by the atrocities committed against Jews. He also started a campaign to ask the management of ‘Sullivan and Cromwell’ to close their Berlin location. This demand was unavoidable, and the corporation had no alternative but to comply.

During World War II, Dulles was assigned to the American intelligence organization known as the “Office of Strategic Services.” Dulles’ objective was to obtain military intelligence on Germany’s war plans from anti-Nazi contacts around the country.

Dulles was a close acquaintance of those plotting Hitler’s assassination. These men also provided Dulles with information on the ‘V1’ and ‘V2′ rockets that the dictator sought to utilize during the war in 1944. Dulles’ professional high point came in 1950, when he was appointed Deputy Director of Plans at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He was elevated to Deputy Director of Central Intelligence the following year.

Dulles was a key figure in the ‘Operation Ajax’ scheme, in which he collaborated with Frank Wisner, the chief of the Office of Strategic Services, to plot a coup against Iran’s then-President Mohammad Mosaddegh. As a result of the CIA’s efforts, the leader was deposed.

Following his stint at the CIA, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the American President at the time, chose Allen Dulles to be one of the panel members of the ‘Warren Commission’ in 1963. This team, which included Dulles, was organized to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Major Projects of Allen Dulles

Dulles’ participation in ‘Operation Sunrise’ is one among the works for which he is recognized. The goal of the operation was to talk with German forces in Northern Italy and persuade them to surrender. Dulles authored ‘The Craft of Intelligence’ in 1963, based on his experience as an intelligence agent. He’s also the editor of a book titled ‘Great True Spy Stories.’

Achievements & Awards

In 1966, his alma school Princeton University’s American Whig-Clisophic Society presented Allen Dulles with the “James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service.”

Personal History and Legacy

In 1920, Dulles married Clover Todd. Allen Macy Dulles Jr. was the couple’s son, while daughters Clover Jebsen and Joan Buresch were their daughters. Dulles also had a nephew, Cardinal Avery Dulles, who worked for the Catholic Church. Avery Dulles was a professor at Forindham University from 1998 to 2008. Allen Dulles died of Influenza on January 29, 1969, which was worsened by Pneumonia. He was laid to rest in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Allen Dulles $1.7 Million.


The life of this former American ambassador and CIA official has been depicted in a number of films, including ‘The Good Shepherd’ and ‘Nick and Jake.’ In the film ‘The Good Shepherd,’ William Hurt played a character based on Dulles.