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Henry Strasak
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Born Henry Jindrich Strasak
(1901-01-08)January 8, 1901
Rock Island, Illinois
Died May 16, 1985(1985-05-16) (aged 84)
Nationality American
Employer Central Intelligence Agency
United States Department of War
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of State
Spouse(s) Francis (Franziska) Winkler
Children Sydney
Georgina
Parents Jan Strasak
Karoline, nee Förster

Henry Jindrich Strasak (January 8, 1901 – May 16, 1985) was an American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer.

Early lifeEdit

Henry Strasak was born in Rock Island, Illinois. He was a son of immigrants from the former Austria-Hungary of Czech and Austrian descent. After graduating from university, where he studied music and linguistics, he joined the United States Department of State. Strasak was stationed in Argentina and Chile and rose quickly in the DoS ranks. However in the mid 1930s, he was recruited by J. Edgar Hoover and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigations. His main responsibility was to gather intelligence on Fascist and Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. as well as to identify these networks abroad. Later Strasak was sent to the occupied Europe where he worked closely with the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA), which had helped to organize guerrilla fighting, sabotage and espionage during World War II. He gathered intelligence on German activities and plans in Austria and Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, reporting directly to Allen Dulles, an OSS station chief in Berne, Switzerland.

CIA careerEdit

After the war in Europe, Strasak resigned from the FBI and joined the War Department as an intelligence officer, working under Brig. General John Magruder. Later he worked with the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) and together with Jackson, Correa and Souers, Strasak helped to lay the foundation for establishment of the CIA. Henry Strasak remained with the CIA for rest of his life, working in the Directorate for Plans and acting as an advisor to several CIA directors, including Dulles, McCone and Helms. However, very little is known about his career in the CIA and his later life. It is believed that Henry Strasak died on May 16, 1985.

NotesEdit

  • In 1939, Strasak married Francis (Franziska) Winkler with whom he had two daughters.
  • Strasak spoke fluently English, German, Czech, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Slovak and Polish.

ReferencesEdit

  • Richard M. Bissell, Jr., with Jonathan E. Lewis and Frances T. Pudlo. Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996). ISBN 978-0-300-06430-8 [1]
  • Phil Taubman. Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America’s Space Espionage (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2003). ISBN 0-684-85699-9

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