James Wormley Jones

A small, but significant counterintelligence milestone you might like to celebrate: on 15 February 2019 it is exactly one hundred years since the FBI accepted its first African-American special agent. His name was James Wormley Jones. Before joining the FBI, he had already distinguished himself as a captain in the US Army during World War One and as a police officer in Washington DC. As an expert in explosives, Jones was assigned to the General Intelligence Division created in response to terrorist bombings. Much of his work was undercover, his African American background giving him a vital edge as many of his targets simply could not believe that in a segregated America a black man might be an FBI Special Agent. He left the FBI in April 1923 and returned to work as police detective. He died in December 1958 at the age of 74 after an outstanding career in public service. You can read more about his career on the FBI’s website.

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