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Robert J. Lamphere Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS264

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

Comprised mostly of research files generated for his book "The FBI-KGB War," the Robert J. Lamphere Papers document the research activities of Robert J. Lamphere, who was an FBI special agent from 1941 to 1955. Correspondence in this collection includes a large number of letters from Gary Kern, Sam Papich, and Fred Wrixon and a small number of letters from J. Edgar Hoover, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Edward Teller. Drafts of Lamphere's "The FBI-KGB War" are retained, together with the English edition and the second edition of that work. Research files on the Rosenberg case and the Venona case are particularly extensive. The clippings series has several articles published by Lamphere. This collection is made up of 4 boxes (6.5 linear feet of material). Taken together, the Lamphere Papers provide valuable insights into the career of a noted FBI agent during the early years of the Cold War.


  • 1937 - 2002
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 2002

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Robert J. Lamphere (1918-2002) was born in Wardner, Idaho on February 14, 1918. Educated at the University of Idaho (1936-1940) and the National Law School in Washington, D.C. (LL.B. in 1941), Lamphere joined the F.B.I. in 1941 and became a special agent. Lamphere's F.B.I. career was distinguished. After serving in the F.B.I.'s Birmingham, Alabama office, he was transferred to its New York City office. Next, in 1945, he was assigned to the F.B.I.'s Soviet Espionage Squad in New York. Lamphere was a leader on a number of important cases, including the discovery of Soviet spy Judith Coplin, the case of Klaus Fuchs, and the Rosenberg case. Lamphere worked in the F.B.I. until 1955. Lamphere's post-F.B.I. positions included deputy administrator for the Veterans Administration and senior vice-president of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance. Lamphere's memoir "The FBI-KGB War" details his successful career as a special agent. Robert J. Lamphere died on January 7, 2002. (Sources: O'Toole, G.J.A. "Encyclopedia of American Intelligence and Espionage: From the Revolutionary War to the Present" (New York: Facts On File, 1988. "Who's Who in America," 42nd ed.)


3.75 Linear Feet (5 Boxes)

Language of Materials


Robert J. Lamphere Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057