Intelligence Figures in History: Archie B. Savage Jr., the first black officer in the CIA

Archie B. Savage Jr., Ph. D. (1930-2011) began his military career in the US Army during the Korean Conflict where he fought for the duration of the three year war. Once the Korean Demilitarized Zone was erected in 1953 and the fighting ended, Savage continued to serve the United States, working in counterintelligence throughout the Cold War. Savage's 22-year stint at the Central Intelligence Agency brought him to a myriad of countries across Europe and Asia in a time when it was not customary for African Americans to be world travelers. Those that worked with him in the CIA said he embodied "the perfect spy" because his appearance granted him clandestine advantages that others could not match.

In 1960 he was awarded the prestigious Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, one of the highest civilian awards granted by the French Republic, for his role in foiling an assassination attempt on the life of President Charles de Gaulle.

Despite working for the CIA full-time, Savage also took night classes and was able to acquire a Bachelors Degree from the University of Denver in 1966 followed by a Masters in Education in 1971, and a Ph.D. from Denver University in 1976. 

Upon his retirement from government service, Savage dedicated his life to improving his community in New Britain and across Connecticut. He served as a faculty member at Central Connecticut State University and for 15 years was the Director of the Office of Affirmative Action at the UCONN Health Center. Over the course of his life he also served on the Board of Directors for a variety of organizations like United Way, the New Britain Public Library, Catholic Family Services, and the Boys and Girls Club.