Cleveland C. Cram was born in Waterville, Minnesota. His father was a farmer. Cram studied at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He then received a Masters degree in European history from Harvard University. During World War II, he served in the Pacific theater of war for four years. After the war, Cram went back to Harvard and earned a Ph.D., and his dissertation was on Irish politics.
After joining the Central Intelligence Agency in 1950, Cram embarked on a long and prestigious career in intelligence. His area of focus was counterintelligence. In 1953, Cram moved to London, England, where he worked for five years and met Kim Philby. Cram and his CIA colleagues tried to expose Philby, who spied for the Soviets. Cram rose to the rank of deputy station in London, and he worked as a liaison officer between the Central Intelligence Agency and the British intelligence network. Later in his career, Cram held the post of station chief in Holland and Ottawa, too.
In 1975, after a distinguished career, Cram retired from the CIA. In 1976, he undertook a lengthy study of the history of the counterintelligence arm of the Central Intelligence Agency under James Jesus Angleton from 1954 to 1974. The study took six years to complete. In the process, Cram produced a massive, classified 11-volume study entitled, "History of the Counter-Intelligence Staff, 1954-1974." Subsequently, in 1993, Cram published an unclassified document entitled, "Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counter-Intelligence Literature." Later, Cram did consulting work for the CIA, and he helped train CIA officials at the Center for Counter-Intelligence and Security Studies.
Mary Margaret Cram, Cleveland's wife, died in 1998. Their daughter is Mary Victoria Cram.
Cleveland C. Cram died at age 81 on January 9, 1999.
-Wise, David. "Mole-hunt: How the Search for a Phantom Traitor Shattered the CIA." (New York: Avon Books, 1992).
-Obituary of Cleveland C. Cram in the "Washington Post," 1/13/1999, p. B6.