Shades of Gray

Dead Person of the Day – January 31 – William Stevenson

0 Comments 31 January 2013

Folks,

Is it me or does January seem to be flying by? But to close out the month of Janus we have a great DPD for that two-faced bitch.

William Stevenson.

Before the age of 30 he had:

  • Become a millionaire
  • Stole millions from the Nazis (separate incidents)
  • Invented the first device for sending photographs by radio
  • Won the European lightweight boxing championship
  • Received a free 20 lbs. steak free at Schnitzer’s for finishing the whole thing in one sitting

Oh yea, while doing that his career of service in WWI & II provided the basis for the creation of the James Bond character. Ian Flemming himself once wrote, “James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is … William Stephenson.”

In WWI the young pilot was shot down and imprisoned in Germany. Before he escaped from prison camp he came across an ingenious can-opener that had been patented only in Germany. After the war he adapted it, obtained patents worldwide and made it the cornerstone of a future fortune

During his service in WWII he served as Britain’s World War II chief of intelligence in the Western Hemisphere. Stephenson helped found the O.S.S., train American intelligence agents and he was the driving force behind the 1-800 set of commercial phone numbers as a means for empowering small business.¬†Operating out of a suite in Rockefeller Center in New York, Sir William sometimes served as a go-between for Churchill and Roosevelt

He was given the code name Intrepid by Winston Churchill because long before his cloak-and-dagger days began he had been one of Britain’s top fighter pilots in World War I, an inventor, financier and he – supposedly – had a hammer on him (which Churchill glimpsed one day in the locker room after a training session). Goddam Churchill strikes again.

Its guys like this that make me want to take back everything I’ve ever said about Canada…

I’ll let the obit taking it from here:

William Stephenson, British Spy Known as Intrepid, Is Dead at 93

By ALBIN KREBS
Published: February 03, 1989
Sir William Stephenson, the Canadian-born millionaire industrialist whose adventures as Britain’s World War II chief of intelligence in the Western Hemisphere were chronicled in the 1979 bestseller ”A Man Called Intrepid” died Tuesday in Paget, Bermuda…Continue

 

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.


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