Dodd, Martha

(1908–1990)
   Certainly the richest American to spy for the Soviet Union, Martha Dodd was literally seduced into espionage in 1934 in Berlin, where her father was serving as American ambassador. Dodd became the lover of Boris Vinogradov, an NKVD officer who was recalled to Moscow, arrested, and shot in 1937. Dodd, undeterred by her lover’s death, returned to New York, where she married Alfred Stern, a multimillionaire and a communist, and resumed her intelligence career. She recruited Stern into the NKVD, insisting that he be accepted as an agent.
   Dodd, whose code name was “Lisa,” had social entrée to the White House of Franklin D. Roosevelt but was less than successful as an agent. She did spot agents for the NKVD and provided a considerable amount of gossip about Democratic Party politics. However, she was difficult to control. When the Sterns were identified as Soviet agents by several Federal Bureau of Investigation sources in the late 1940s, they fled the United States. They were found guilty in absentia of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. They lived in exile first in Mexico, then applied for political asylum in the Soviet Union. They lived in Moscow, then Prague, and finally Havana. They were never happy in exile but were afraid to return to the United States.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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