11 Masters Of Espionage

Leaking documents? Amateur. Spying on the Nazi party? Child’s play. Killing space pirates? There’s only one man capable of that kind of bravery. Sterling Archer may be the world’s all-time greatest secret agent, but see how these 11 runner-ups compare to the master of espionage, sabotage, and ménage a tr— well, you get it. Archer is back in the DANGER ZONE for an all-new season tonight at 10 p.m. only on FX.

1. Edward Snowden: Escaped to Russia, with love.

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Responsible for the 2013 NSA leaks, Snowden was behind what was called the most significant leak in U.S. history.

2. Mata Hari: Agent provocateur.

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Exotic dancer by day and German spy by night (or perhaps the other way around), Hari was known for her provocative performances both in and outside the club. She was executed by firing squad under charges of espionage during WWI in 1917.

3. Jullian Assange: We deserve to know.

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Former hacker and eventual editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Assange is known for uncovering massive amounts of classified and top-secret information. Since being granted diplomatic asylum by Ecuador in 2012, he has not left the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

4. Roald Dahl: A novel spy.

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During wartime, the famed novelist (author of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) transitioned from being a pilot to an espionage specialist. Working under other big names such as Ian Fleming and advertising revolutionary David Ogilvy, Dahl served his country by supplying intelligence from America back to Britain.

5. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: A deadly pairing.

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In 1951, this power couple was convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in a time of war for passing info about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union and were executed by electric chair two years later.

6. Robert Hanssen: An imposter among us.

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Ex-FBI, Hanssen served as a double agent for Soviet and Russian Intelligence services against the U.S. for 22 years. He is currently serving a life sentence at the United States Penitentiary: Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado.

7. Klaus Fuchs: A theoretical mastermind.

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Fuchs (1911-88) was a German theoretical physicist and atomic spy who spent much of his life working on foreign countries’ atomic bomb research projects, and reporting his findings back to the Soviet Union.

8. Chelsea Manning: A traitor or a catalyst for change?

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Manning was responsible for leaking the largest set of classified documents ever publicly released in 2010, and was charged with 22 separate offenses (including aiding the enemy, which could have resulted in a death sentence). Some believe that she was traitorous, although others cite her as the catalyst that began huge political reform in the Middle East. She was sentenced to 35 years behind bars.

9. Moe Berg: Knowledge beyond baseball.

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Berg was a baseball player turned spy for the U.S. during WWII. Described as “the strangest man ever to play baseball,” Berg was incredibly intelligent and eventually was known for more than just his talents behind the plate.

10. Anna Chapman: Mission celebrity.

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A Russian national who was arrested (and deported) under suspicion for working a Russian spy ring while residing in New York City in 2010, Chapman was welcomed home with open arms and is now a pop-culture icon. She took things to the next level when she posed for the cover of Russian Maxim, dressed in sexy-agent-provocateur garb.

11. Sir William Stephenson: Shaken, not stirred.

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Sir Stephenson (codename: Intrepid) was the original inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s beloved James Bond spy series. For years, he worked to protect the best interests of Great Britain at the covert British Security Coordination that publicly operated as the British Passport Control Office.

Catch all-new episodes of the greatest spy story ever told, starting Monday, January 13 at 10 p.m. Only on FX.

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