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Sir William Stephenson

(1897—1989) businessman and intelligence officer


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(1896–1989), Canadian-born First World War fighter ace and pugilist who in August 1940 formed British Security Co-ordination. His influence was wide and varied, and his role, especially during the early years of the war, of establishing a close Anglo-American relationship in security and intelligence matters, was important enough to earn him a knighthood in 1944 and for him to be the first non-American to receive the highest US civilian decoration, the Medal of Merit (see decorations). But he never acted as a secret liaison between Churchill and Roosevelt, was not codenamed INTREPID by Churchill nor did he contribute to unravelling the mysteries of the ENIGMA cipher machine, or play any part in secret activities outside the western hemisphere.

From The Oxford Companion to World War II in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Second World War.


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