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Kim Philby
Kim Philby.jpg
Allegiance Soviet Union
Codename(s) Sonny, Stanley

Birth name Harold Adrian Russell Philby
Born (1912-01-01)1 January 1912
Ambala, Punjab, British India
Died 11 May 1988(1988-05-11) (aged 76)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
  • Kuntsevo Cemetery
  • Ryabinovaya Ulitsa, Moscow
Nationality British
  • St John Philby
  • Dora Philby
  • Litzi Friedmann
  • Aileen Furse
  • Eleanor Brewer
  • Rufina Ivanovna Pukhova
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby (1 January 1912 – 11 May 1988) was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963. He served as both an NKVD and KGB operative.

In 1963, Philby was revealed to be a member of the spy ring now known as the Cambridge Five, the other members of which were Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross. The Cambridge Five were a group of five men dedicated to serving Soviet Russia in the early stages of the Cold War. These men had the job of espionage, infiltrating American intelligence and providing inside information to the leaders of the Soviet Union.

Of the five, Philby is believed to have been most successful in providing secret information to the Soviet Union. Philby was enthusiastic about his mission early on, creating a lifetime relationship with the Soviet Union. His activities were moderated only by Joseph Stalin's fears that he was a triple agent providing Soviet intelligence to British authorities. Philby was an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from 1946 to 1965, and he was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1965.

In 1971, Philby married Rufina Ivanovna Pukhova, a Russo-Polish woman, with whom he lived until his death. Philby died of heart failure in Moscow in 1988. He was given a hero's funeral, and posthumously awarded numerous medals by the USSR.

Early life

Philby was born at Ambala in the Punjab Province of British India. He was the son of Dora (Johnston) and St John Philby. His father was a member of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) and later a civil servant in Mesopotamia and advisor to King Ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia.

Nicknamed "Kim" after the boy in Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim, Philby attended Aldro preparatory school. In his early teens, he spent some time with the Bedouin in the desert of Saudi Arabia. Following in the footsteps of his father, he continued to Westminster School, which he left in 1928 at the age of 16.

He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History and Economics. Attending Trinity College, Philby became an admirer of Karl Marx and the Marxism movement. He graduated in 1933 with a 2:1 degree in Economics. Upon Philby's graduation, he began enquiring how he could deepen his understanding of communism and search for ways in which he could serve the Communist movement.

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