Porter GossPolitical Figure / Spy
Born: 26 November 1938
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut
Best known as: The CIA director who resigned suddenly in 2006
Porter Goss resigned abruptly as director of the Central Intelligence Agency in May of 2006, ending 20 controversial months in that office. President George W. Bush had nominated Goss to be the head of the CIA in August of 2004, charging him with reforming the agency; he was confirmed by Congress the following month. Goss was born in Connecticut, graduated from Yale University in 1960 (eight years before Bush graduated from the same school), and then worked for Army intelligence (1960-62) and the CIA (1962-71). He moved to Florida and served as a U.S. Representative from Florida's 14th Congressional district from 1989-2004, spending the years from 1997-2004 as head of the House Intelligence Committee. Goss helped lead Congressional investigations into intelligence failures surrounding the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, before taking the post of CIA director himself in 2004. Critics accused Goss of being too closely tied to the Bush administration and of politicizing the CIA, while his supporters claimed he was trying to lead a moribund agency in new directions. Goss refused to explain his surprise resignation in 2006, telling a reporter from CNN that the reasons were "just one of those mysteries."
Extra credit: Goss retired from the CIA in 1971 after suffering a severe and nearly fatal infection.
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