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Guy Burgess
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Spy
    (April 16, 1911-August 30, 1963)
    Born in Devonport, England, United Kingdom
    Member of the Cambridge Spy Ring
    BBC corespondent and producer (1936-44)
    Worked for the British intelligence service MI6 (1938-41)
    Worked in the British Foreign Office (1944-51)
    Defected to the Soviet Union with Don Maclean (1951)
    The Soviet agent who recruited the Cambridge Spy Ring originally rejected him, describing him as 'very smart, but superficial.'
    He was brought into the spy ring only after approaching Maclean and hinting that he knew what Maclean was up to.
    He abused his BBC expense account (such as always traveling first class, and insisting on taking taxis instead of buses or the underground) enough to draw complaints from his supervisors.
    When he was sent to the British embassy in Washington, DC, the FBI described him as 'a louche, foul-mouthed gay with a penchant for seducing hitchhikers.'
    Harold Nicolson wrote about the effects of his heavy drinking, 'Guy used to have the most rapid and acute mind I knew. Now he is just an imitation of what he once was.'
    He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge.
    Despite his Soviet handlers' initial misgivings, he proved an effective spy, with defector Vladimir Petrov noting, 'The volume of the material Burgess supplied was so colossal that the cipher clerks of the Soviet embassy were at times were almost fully employed in enciphering it so it could be radioed to Moscow.'
    His defection alongside Maclean resulted in his friend Kim Philby being suspected of tipping them off, ruining Philby's chances of being appointed head of MI6, which would have been the ultimate coup for a double agent.
    He was portrayed by Rupert Everett in 'Another Country,' Alan Bates in 'An Englishman Abroad,' and Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Turning Point.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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