Carl, Leo Darwin 1918(?)-2001

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CARL, Leo Darwin 1918(?)-2001


Born c. 1918 in Brooklyn, NY; died of cancer, November 21, 2001, in McLean, VA; married Otilla "Tommie" Ewert; children: David. Education: Attended City College of New York; University of Maryland, B.A., M.A.; Defense Language Institute.


Author, lexicographer, and linguist. U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC, civil servant, beginning 1968; International Defense Consultant Services, founder. Military service: U.S. Army, enlisted serviceman, 1930s; U.S. Air Force, intelligence officer, 1947-68; attained rank of colonel.


Association of Former Intelligence Officers.


The International Dictionary of Intelligence, Maven Books (McLean, VA), 1990, updated as The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Tradecraft, NIBC Press (Washington, DC), 1996.


Leo Darwin Carl was a career military man who served most of his time as an intelligence officer. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Carl began his own company, International Defense Consultant Services, a publishing and database projects service. It was during these latter years of his life that he compiled two comprehensive dictionaries. The first, The International Dictionary of Intelligence, consists of almost five hundred pages with over six thousand entries. The second book, The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Tradecraft, is actually an updated version of the first and includes more than seven hundred pages with nearly ten thousand entries. Carl spent most of his career, both in the military and as a civil servant, involved in intelligence work, and this gives his dictionaries special authority. It should be noted, however, that no classified information is included in either work, and as stated by a reviewer for Booklist, both dictionaries are "intended for use by students, professionals, and writers of spy fiction interested in intelligence, counterintelligence, and covert operations."

Carl was born in Brooklyn, New York, and after completing his college education, he began his long involvement with the military. He enlisted in the U.S. Army prior to World War II as a non-commissioned officer. Later he attended officer candidate school and upon completion was awarded a commission as an officer. During World War II he was stationed in England and after the war, in 1947, when the U.S. Air Force became an independent branch of the military, Carl transferred there. With the U.S. Air Force he served in Japan and then later in Germany as an intelligence officer. In the late 1950s he returned to the United States and served on assignment with the Central Intelligence Agency. During his career with the Armed Forces, he was involved with the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the army's Counterintelligence Corps, eventually reaching the rank of colonel. Upon retiring from the military in 1968, he worked at the Pentagon as a civil servant.

With this extensive background in intelligence, Carl undertook the task of compiling the vocabulary used not only by U.S. intelligence agencies but by foreign agencies as well. His dictionaries include the names of security organizations, state-sponsored terrorist groups, arms-control terminology, and types of weapons. Also incorporated in the books are appendixes, which some critics found to be the dictionaries' most interesting feature. One such index provides the names of the heads of Russian/Soviet security services. Also included are definitions of intelligence terms, code names, and the name of intelligence organizations throughout the world. J. D. Stempel, writing for Choice, called the more recent edition of Carl's dictionary "an essential reference book for any library or university that claims to cover intelligence."

Carl died of cancer on November 21, 2001.



Booklist, October 1, 1996, review of The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Tradecraft, pp. 367-368.

Choice, November, 1996, J. D. Stempel, review of The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Tradecraft, p. 426.*

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Carl, Leo Darwin 1918(?)-2001

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