E. Henry Knoche

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
E. Henry Knoche
Acting Director of Central Intelligence
In office
January 20, 1977 – March 9, 1977
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byGeorge H. W. Bush
Succeeded byStansfield Turner
11th Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
In office
July 7, 1976 – August 1, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Preceded byVernon A. Walters
Succeeded byJohn F. Blake
Personal details
Enno Henry Knoche

January 14, 1925
Charleston, West Virginia
DiedJuly 9, 2010(2010-07-09) (aged 85)
Alma materWashington & Jefferson College
Awards President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service (1977)

Enno Henry Knoche (January 14, 1925 – July 9, 2010) was an American intelligence officer who served as deputy director of the CIA and acting Director of Central Intelligence.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Knoche attended Mt. Lebanon School District, where he played basketball and tennis, winning a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League doubles championship.[2] In 1942, he enrolled in Washington & Jefferson College, playing baseball and the freshman basketball team. He then enlisted in the United States Navy to serve in World War II in 1943.[2] Later, he attended Bethany College, again playing basketball and leading the team in scoring.[2] He then attended University of Colorado, where he led his basketball team to the 1946 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and played baseball.[2] Following his discharge from the military, he returned to W&J to complete his degree, graduating in 1947.[2] He then played for 2 years in the professional National Industrial Basketball League, leading his team in scoring both years.[2] He was drafted by the failing Pittsburgh Ironmen in the 1947 BAA Draft.[3][nb 1] When his contract was then sold to the New York Knicks, Knoche demanded $2,500 (equivalent to $32,800 in 2022) to play for the team, a demand that was not met.[3][4]

He served in the United States Navy as a Navy intelligence officer, in World War II, and the Korean War.[4]

He joined the CIA in 1953 as an analyst; he was fluent in Russian and the Fuzhou dialect.[4] During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he briefed President John F. Kennedy.[4] Even though he lacked the typical CIA resume, as having never served in operational capacity or in the clandestine operations, he was steadily promoted through the agency's ranks.[4] On July 7, 1976 he became deputy director, serving under director George H. W. Bush.[4] In that position, he was responsible for day-to-day agency operations.[4]

On January 12, 1977, he was honored as a recipient of the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. Presentation of the award was made in the East Room of the White House by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.[5]

Upon Bush's resignation from the CIA with the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1977, Knoche became acting director.[4] That day, he briefed Carter on the agency's ongoing clandestine operations.[4] On January 21, 1977, he met with the president and delivered photo intelligence from Aerospace Data Facility-East.[6] His term as acting director ended when Stansfield Turner was confirmed as director of the CIA on March 9, 1977.[4]

Knoche retired on August 1, 1977. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.[4]

He married Angie Papoulas in 1947; they had five sons.[4]


  1. ^ Overall, it is unclear exactly which professional basketball team Knoche played for in 1947-1948. One source indicates that he played for the National Industrial Basketball League,[2] while another source does not mention it at all, instead discussing the Pittsburgh Ironmen, which were not part of the National Industrial Basketball League[3]


  1. ^ "Enno Henry Knoche*". Center for Study of Intelligence. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "E. HENRY KNOCHE 2001 - BASKETBALL". Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Washington-Greene County Chapter. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "From Basketball to Covert Ops: E. Henry Knoche". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-01-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Shapiro, T. Rees (August 29, 2010). "E. Henry Knoche, 85; a key player in the intelligence game". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ "the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service for E. Henry Knoche". Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Burrows, William (1986). Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security. New York, New York: Random House. pp. 229. ISBN 0-394-54124-3