Bust of William J. Casey

Artifact Details

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan selected William Casey to be the Director of Central Intelligence.

William Casey began his intelligence career in the OSS as the chief of espionage operations in the European Theater, where he coordinated the deployment of 100 allied paratrooper teams into occupied Germany during the final year of World War II. After nearly four decades as a venture capitalist and public servant, he resumed his work in intelligence when President Ronald Reagan selected him to be Director of Central Intelligence in 1981. Casey presided over an aggressive anti-communist effort in Afghanistan and Latin America, as well as new focus on anti-terrorism after the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing. He also successfully lobbied for the construction of the New Headquarters Building at CIA Headquarters. The Iran-Contra affair clouded the final months of Casey’s tenure and his role in or knowledge of the scandal was never fully clarified. He resigned in 1987 due to ill-health and passed away several months later.