Walter Reid Wolf

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Person.png Walter Reid Wolf ZoominfoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(banker, spook)
No image available (photo).jpg
BornOctober 28, 1896
Mount Vernon, New York City
DiedMay 18, 1963 (Age 66)
Briefly and not very successfully CIA deputy director from 1951 to 1953.

The banker Walter Reid Wolf was briefly CIA deputy director from 1951 to 1953 under Walter Bedell Smith, who he managed his personal investments for.


During the early days of formation of the CIA, a vice president of the National City Bank of New York, Walter Reid Wolf, was recruited briefly as a CIA deputy director from 1951 to 1953; soon afterward two of Wolf's fellow directors in the small Empire City Savings Bank (Samuel Sloan Walker and Arthur B. Richardson) were named to the board of CAT Inc., and later Air America.[1]

The historian Ludwell Lee Montague wrote "He had few if any ideas to contribute to the administration of the CIA. Indeed, he was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of his position and incapable of positive action, except insofar he was instructed by Smith himself — or by Shannon. General Smith was not known for his tolerance of incompetence or passivity. It is, then, pertinent to ask why he kept Wolf as DDA for the remainder of his tenure as DCI....A reason for keeping Walter Wolf was a sense of personal obligation to him. Wolf had handled Smith's personal investments with great success indeed... When Smith did keep in a position of responsibility an officer who was not functioning effectively, he simply short-circuited that officer by appointing a deputy on whom he could depend,' Thus, Smith depended on Shannon to carry on as his working deputy for administration, with Wolf as a front."[2]


  1. Peter Dale Scott Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina page 189
  2. Ludwell Lee Montague General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence