Kim Philby


Born: 1912
Died: 1988
Birthplace: Ambala, India
Best known as: British "Master Spy" and Soviet double-agent
<p>Name at birth: Harold Adrian Russell Philby</p>

The privileged son of a British diplomat, Harold "Kim" Philby became one of the most famous spies of the 20th century when he defected to the Soviet Union in 1963 after a career in British intelligence. A student at Cambridge in the 1930s, Philby was drawn to Marxist ideas and was a member of what came to be known as "The Cambridge Spies" -- Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt. Burgess, Maclean and Philby were apparently recruited in the 1930s to be Soviet spies, possibly by Blunt. In the 1940s they began working for British intelligence, and Philby rose in the ranks to be a respected member of the intelligence community. In 1951, under suspicion of being double agents, Burgess and Maclean disappeared, surfacing in Russia in 1956 as defectors. Philby was questioned and accused of being "the Third Man," the one who warned Burgess and Maclean to flee as investigations closed in, but he was never officially charged. In 1963 Philby defected to the Soviet Union, and in his 1968 book My Silent War he claimed to have been a "double-agent" for the KGB, the Soviet spy agency, for nearly two decades. He lived the rest of his life in Russia, where he died in 1988, a recipient of the Order of Lenin and an official Soviet hero.

Copyright © 1998-2015 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.

More on Kim Philby from Fact Monster:

  • Kim Philby - Philby, Kim Philby, Kim (Harold Adrian Russell Philby), 1912–88, British double agent; son of ...
  • Kim Philby - Biography of Kim Philby, British "Master Spy" and Soviet double-agent
  • Anthony Frederick Blunt - Blunt, Anthony Frederick Blunt, Anthony Frederick, 1907–83, English art historian and Soviet ...
  • espionage: History - History Beginnings through the Nineteenth Century The importance of espionage in military affairs ...
  • Selected Biographies: P - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe