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William Stephenson
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    (January 23, 1897-January 31, 1989)
    Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Birth name was William Samuel Clouston Stanger
    Combat pilot during World War I
    During World War II established the British Security Coordination (BSC) in New York
    Created and oversaw the British intelligence network in the Western Hemisphere
    Prior to Pearl Harbor, covertly lobbied for US entry into the war
    Subject of the books 'A Man Called Intrepid' (2000) and 'The True Intrepid' (2002)
    His WWI flying career came to an end when he was accidentally shot down by a French plane.
    His attempt to start a hardware business between the wars failed.
    He married a tobacco heiress.
    Some of accounts of his WWII exploits in his biographies may have been exaggerated.
    During the 30s, he passed to Winston Churchill information about Germany violating the Treaty of Versailles by secretly rearming.
    As head of the BSC, he worked without a salary and paid many of the employees out of his own pocket.
    In recommending him for a knighthood, Churchill wrote, 'This one is dear to my heart.'
    He was the first non-US citizen to receive the Presidential Medal for Merit (1946).
    Ian Fleming said, 'James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is William Stephenson.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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