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Cord Meyer, Jr. (November 10, 1920 – March 13, 2001) was an American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official.


Early life

Meyer's father, Cord Meyer Sr., was a diplomat and former real estate developer. His grandfather, also called Cord Meyer, was a property developer and a chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee. He was educated at St. Paul's School, New Hampshire, and attended Yale University, where he was a member of the Scroll and Key society.[1] After graduating in 1942, he enlisted with the 22nd Marine Regiment[2] and fought in Pacific War; he took part in the Battle of Eniwetok, and in the Battle of Guam as platoon leader, losing his left eye in a grenade attack. He shared his war experiences, writing for The Atlantic Monthly.[3]

In 1945, he married Mary Pinchot, daughter of Amos Pinchot.

After the war, Meyer was a strong advocate of world government. He was an aide of Harold Stassen to the 1945 San Francisco United Nations Conference on International Organization and in 1947, was elected president of the United World Federalists, the organization he helped to found.

CIA career

In about 1949 he started working for the Central Intelligence Agency, joining the organization in 1951 at the invitation of Allen Dulles. At first he worked at the Office of Policy Coordination under former OSS man, Frank Wisner.[4] In 1953 Meyer came under attack by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which claimed he was a security risk for having once stood at the same podium of a "notorious leftist" and refused to give him a security clearance. An internal CIA inquiry summarily dismissed the claims.[5] According to Deborah Davis, Meyer became Operation Mockingbird's "principal operative".[6] Meyer befriended James Jesus Angleton, who in 1954 became the CIA's counter-intelligence chief. From 1954 until 1962 Meyer was head of the agency's international organizations division.[7] In 1959 Meyer's 9-year-old son Michael was hit by a car and killed. Meyer divorced his wife Mary shortly thereafter. Meyer headed the Covert Action Staff of the Directorate of Plans from 1962.[4] In 1964 his former wife Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot dead by an unknown assailant alongside the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.[8] Her sister and brother-in-law Benjamin C. Bradlee, the later Washington Post executive, caught Angleton breaking into Pinchot's residence. Angleton apparently was looking for Mary Meyer's diary, which contained details of a love affair with John F. Kennedy, the U.S. President.[5][9]

From 1967 to 1973 Meyer was Assistant Deputy Director of Plans under Thomas Karamessines.[3][8] After a posting as CIA station chief in London, Meyer left the CIA in 1977 and became a syndicated columnist. He also wrote several books, including an autobiography. He was long incorrectly considered by some to be Deep Throat[10].

Writer C. David Heymann in The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2003) told of Meyer's response when, near the end of his life, he was asked to comment on his wife's still unsolved murder case:

Meyer held court at the beginning of February 2001 - six weeks before his death - in the barren dining room of a Washington nursing home. Propped up in a chair, his glass eye bulging, he struggled to hold his head aloft. Although he was no longer able to read, the nurses supplied him with a daily copy of The Washington Post, which he carried with him wherever he went. "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed," he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."[11]

He died of lymphoma on March 13, 2001.

Possible Ties to Kennedy Assassination

In 2007 the son of former CIA agent and Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt came forward with recordings and other documentation in which his father, on his death bed, claimed Meyer, Bill Harvey, and David Morales organized the assassination of John F. Kennedy at the behest of then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. The audio recordings contain further allegations that prior to the assassination, JFK had taken Meyer's ex-wife as one of his mistresses.[12][13]


  • Peace or Anarchy, Little, Brown (1948).
  • The Search of Security, World Government House (January 1, 1947).
  • Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA, University Press of America; Reprint edition (September 2, 1982). ISBN 0-8191-2559-8

See also


  1. ^ "Behind the Scenes Of a CIA Life". The Washington Post. 1978-02-28. 
  2. ^ Joseph Preston Baratta (2004). The Politics of World Federation: From World Federation to Global Governance. ISBN 0275980685. 
  3. ^ a b "Cord Meyer Jr. Dies at 80". The New York Times. 2001-03-16. 
  4. ^ a b Cord Meyer (1980). Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the Central Intelligence Agency. Harper & Row. p. 65. ISBN 0060130326. 
  5. ^ a b "Obituary: Cord Meyer". The Guardian. 2001-03-17. 
  6. ^ Deborah Davis (1979). Katharine the Great. p. 226. 
  7. ^ Raymond L. Garthoff (2001). A Journey Through the Cold War: A Memoir of Containment and Coexistence. Brookings Institution Press. p. 16. ISBN 0815701020. 
  8. ^ a b "Key CIA Figure Cord Meyer Dies". The Washington Post. 2001-03-15. 
  9. ^ Benjamin C. Bradlee (1995-09-25). "The Bradlee files". Newsweek. 
  10. ^ Riebling, Mark, Wedge (2002) Touchstone ISBN 0743245997
  11. ^ C. David Heynmann, "The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club", 2003
  12. ^, The Last Confessions of E Howard Hunt, April 2007, retrieved November 16, 2008
  13. ^

External links



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