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Robert Hanssen Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of convicted spy Robert Hanssen.


Birth date: April 18, 1944

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Robert Philip Hanssen

Father: Howard Hanssen, police officer

Mother: Vivian Hanssen

Marriage: Bernadette “Bonnie” (Wauck) Hanssen (August 10, 1968-present)

Children: Lisa, Greg, Mark, John “Jack,” Sue and Jane

Education: Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, A.B. in Chemistry, 1966; Attended Northwestern University Dental School, 1966-1968; Northwestern University, M.B.A. in Accounting and Information Systems, 1971

Other Facts

Hanssen received payments of $1.4 million in cash and diamonds from the information he gave the Soviet Union and Russia.

At least two movies have been made about Hanssen. A TV movie called “Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story” was released in 2002. A feature film called “Breach” was released in 2007.


1972 – Joins the Chicago Police Department.

January 12, 1976 – Joins the FBI as a Special Agent.

1979 Begins spying for the Soviet Union.

1980 Begins working for the counterintelligence unit, focusing on the Soviet Union.

1981 – Is assigned to the Intelligence Division at FBI headquarters in DC.

1981 Hanssen’s wife catches him with classified documents and convinces him to stop spying.

October 4, 1985 Resumes spying.

1991 – Breaks off relations with the KGB.

1999 Resumes spying, this time for the Russian Intelligence agency.

2000 – The FBI identifies Hanssen from a fingerprint and from a tape recording supplied by a disgruntled Russian intelligence operative. The FBI also obtains the complete original KGB dossier on Hanssen.

December 2000 The FBI begins surveillance of Hanssen.

January 12, 2001 Hanssen is reassigned from counterintelligence to an obscure office at FBI headquarters.

February 18, 2001 – Is arrested in a Virginia park after making a drop of classified documents. Agents find a bag nearby containing $50,000 that they believe is Hanssen’s payment for the documents.

May 16, 2001 – Is indicted on 21 counts of spying for the Soviet Union/Russia and passing top secret material to the Soviet Union/Russia.

May 31, 2001 Pleads not guilty to all charges.

July 6, 2001 – Pleads guilty to 15 counts of espionage and conspiracy in exchange for the government not seeking the death penalty.

May 10, 2002 – Is sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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