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Reinhard Gehlen Biography »
Reinhard Gehlen (3 April 1902 – 8 June 1979) was an officer in the German Wehrmacht during World War II, reaching the rank of Major General just before being sacked by Hitler for his accurately-pessimistic intelligence reports. Starting in 1942 he served as chief of Fremde Heere Ost (FHO), the German Army's military intelligence unit on the Eastern Front. During the emerging phases of the Cold War, he was recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union (known as the Gehlen Organization) which employed numerous former SS, SD and Wehrmacht officers and eventually became head of the West German intelligence apparatus. He served as the first president of the Federal Intelligence Service until 1968. Gehlen is considered one of the most legendary Cold War spymasters, though some at the CIA cast doubt on this.