Oswald LeWinter

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Oswald LeWinter (April 2, 1931 – February 13, 2013)[1] was an Austrian-born American author, poet,[2] self-claimed former CIA agent and a conspiracy theorist.

Early life and education[edit]

LeWinter was born in Vienna, Austria and raised in Brooklyn, New York.[3] The son of Louis and Regina Mandel Le Winter, his parents were Jewish immigrants who ran an upholstery store.[1][3] Oswald LeWinter was sent at the age of 8 years to the U.S. by his parents from Hamburg, Germany, prior to WWII.[citation needed] He traveled with Gilbert Kraus on the SS President Harding in June 1939. His parents followed in February 1940 on the SS Saturnia.[citation needed]

By the late 1950s, LeWinter resided in California.[3] He obtained a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a masters from San Francisco State College.[3] After marrying, LeWinter returned to New York where he completed studies toward a Ph.D. at Columbia University.[3]

From 1961 to 1963 he worked as an English instructor at the Penn State University.[4][5][6][better source needed] LeWinter supposedly received a doctorate of social sciences from the University of Tübingen in Germany.[citation needed]

Early activism[edit]

In May 1960 LeWinter was present at the "Black Friday" protest against the House Un-American Activities Committee at the San Francisco City Hall.[4] He would later condemn the propaganda film Operation Abolition in a letters to the editors of the Penn State University campus journal.[4]

Civil career[edit]

In 1969 LeWinter was named vice president and director of marketing at Systems Simulation, Inc.[7]

In 1976 and 1977 LeWinter served as head of the annual Labor Day weekend book fair at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Connecticut.[2][8]

October surprise[edit]

In the early 1990s, LeWinter was exposed when he was used as source in many publications regarding the October surprise conspiracy, including the works of Barbara Honegger, Richard Brenneke and Gary Sick.[3][9]

CIA career[edit]

Rodney Stich has been quoted as saying that LeWinter worked for the CIA for over 30 years.[10] In 1990, when interviewed as a CIA operative by Italy's RAI Television, he used the alias Ibrahim Razin.[10][11]

According to the report released by the Assassination Records Review Board in 1998: "FBI and CIA files indicate that LeWinter is a well-known fabricator with an interest in intelligence and law enforcement activities who frequently makes claims related to sensational or unusual news events. The records that the Review Board examined did not show that Oswald LeWinter was ever employed by or worked for the CIA in any capacity."[12]


LeWinter was also an alleged hoaxer, most notably he tried to sell forgeries to Mohamed Fayed in 1998, suggesting that the British intelligence service was involved in the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.[3][9][13][14] In 1998, LeWinter was sentence to four years in an Austrian prison after being convicted of attempted criminal fraud.[15]


Oswald LeWinter was a poet, and has also written two books that were published in Portuguese, Desmantelar a America (2001) and Democracia e Secretismo (2002). His most recent books of poems are "More Atoms of Memory" (2006), and "Ages of Chaos and Fury: Selected Poems 1949–2005" (2005). In 1963 he published and anthology of writings on Shakespeare by Europeans, which he edited and translated, titled "Shakespeare in Europe,". The book was initially published by Meridian Books[16] and later became part of the Penguin Shakespeare Series in England, chosen by Professor Spencer. I has also been translated into Portuguese. He has written a major article for The Reader's Encyclopedia of Shakespeare (Crowell, 1966).

Selected works[edit]


LeWinter has received the International Rilke Prize in Poetry (1997)[17] Oswald LeWinter received the Khalil Gibran International Poetry Prize in January 2008


LeWinter also appeared in two Allan Francovich movies, Gladio (1992) and The Maltese Double Cross (1994).

Personal life[edit]

Oswald LeWinter was married four times and had five children.


In 2013, LeWinter died after an extended illness.[1] He resided in Holly Hill, South Carolina at the time of his death.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Somervell, Al (February 18, 2013). "Oswald Le Winter -- Holly Hill". The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, South Carolina). Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Lawrence Fellows (September 3, 1976). "Mark of Twain on Town's Big Book Fair". The New York Times: C3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Loeb, Vernon; Bill Miller (February 15, 2001). "Tinker, Tailor, Poet, Spy?; He's Played the Part of an Ex-CIA Agent for Years Now. It's a Convincing Act.". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). p. C1. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Oswald LeWinter (Nov 14, 1961). "Pablum for Diaper Patriots". Daily Collegian (Penn State University). 
  5. ^ Oswald LeWinter (Feb 7, 1963). "Prof Alarmed At Power Grab Daily". Daily Collegian (Penn State University). 
  6. ^ Oswald LeWinter (Mar 29, 1962). "An Open Letter to ; President Kennedy". Daily Collegian (Penn State University). 
  7. ^ "Advertising: More A do on Cigarette Curbs". New York Times: 78. Feb 20, 1969. 
  8. ^ "Lewinter To Head Library Book Fair". The Hour. March 2, 1977. 
  9. ^ a b U.S. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Joint report of the Task Force to Investigate Certain Allegations Concerning the Holding of American Hostages by Iran in 1980 ("October Surprise Task Force"). (H. Rpt. 102-1102). January 3, 1993.
  10. ^ a b Peter Koenig (3 May 1998). "Al Fayed and the CIA conman". The Independent. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Christopher Hitchens (1991-12-02). "Minority Report". The Nation. 
  12. ^ Assassination Records Review Board (September 30, 1998). "Chapter 6, Part I: The Quest for Additional Information and Records in Federal Government Offices" (pdf). Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. p. 110. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ Frank Snepp (1992-02-25). "October Surmise". The Village Voice. pp. 29–41. 
  14. ^ http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,616253,00.html
  15. ^ "Suit seeks intelligence data on fatal Diana crash". The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). AP. August 31, 2000. p. 6-A. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Books Today; Fiction General". The New York Times: 36. Jun 4, 1963. 
  17. ^ Karl Krolow (June 2003). "Excerpt from the Judge's Statement on Awarding the International Rilke Prize to Oswald Le Winter". Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts. ISSN 1480-6401.