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Porter J. Goss

Politician and former director of the CIA; Born: December 10, 1938 in Waterbury, CT

Headshot of Porter J. Goss


  • B.A. in Ancient Greek, Yale University, 1960.

As a Junior at Yale with a knack for languages (besides Greek and Latin he also knew Spanish and French), Goss was recruited to the CIA by his ROTC commander. After graduation, he trained as a military intelligence officer. In 1962, he was deployed to Miami in time for the Cuban missile crisis. Later, he served in Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Mexico, recruiting and running foreign agents. In 1971, he was struck by a sudden illness, a massive staph infection of his heart and other vital organs that forced him into a wheelchair for a while and ended his career as a CIA operative.

In 1972, Goss retired to an island of the coast of Florida, Sanibel Island. He founded a weekly newspaper, The Island Reporter, and began to get involved in politics. In 1974, he was elected mayor. In 1988, he successfully ran for Congress. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989-2004. From 2004-2006, he headed the CIA.


Porter J. Goss entry in the Biographical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress.

"A Cloak but No Dagger," 2002 article by Richard Leiby in the Washington Post.

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