top of page


The Cold War spy whose mission began on the SS United States

Wow! This is our new favorite story.

Behold the tale of Shirley Perry, as told by Auburn Citizen columnist Megan Blarr in an article entitled "Life behind the Iron Curtain: Skaneateles woman, a former Cold War spy, pens memoir":

On a warm September day in 1952, Shirley Perry boarded the SS United States. The Illinois native, then 22, was traveling to Europe. But as she sipped champagne and sailed past the Statue of Liberty, the realization hit home: Her life as an undercover spy had begun.

So begins Perry's memoir, "After Many Days"...

An English major, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1950, and was searching for a part-time job when she came across a flier on a campus bulletin board.

"I was looking for something that would keep me on campus ... when I spotted this cryptic ad for work with a government agency," Perry said. "It was the best thing that could have happened."

Three months after filling out a 16-page employment application, Perry was notified that she had been hired for a new government agency. It was called the Central Intelligence Agency, and her first assignment was in Vienna...

Shirley Perry's story is built on a special kind of courage, just like the ship that brought her across the ocean to Europe. If you're interested in joining our effort to rescue and revitalize the SS United States, visit our GoFundMe page today!

Featured Posts
Donate Now
Recent Posts
bottom of page