John M. Shaheen (1915 in Lee County, Illinois – 1 November 1985 in New York) was an American financier and businessman. He had been involved in oil and life insurance. John was of Lebanese ancestry.
Prior to World War II, Shaheen worked in publicity in Chicago. During World War II Shaheen was at the Office of Strategic Services, and was awarded the Silver Star and Legion of Merit. At OSS he was "chief of OSS Special Projects" and head of the Reports Declassification Section, and an advisor on the 1946 film O.S.S.. His friendship with William Casey, CIA Director under Ronald Reagan, derived from this period. Under President Richard Nixon, Shaheen was also "a special ambassador to Colombia".
Shaheen founded a life insurance business, selling life insurance from airport vending machines, before moving into the oil business. His oil industry activity included the Come By Chance Refinery in Newfoundland, Canada, which went bankrupt in 1976 owing around $500M, and was "one of the single largest bankruptcies in Canadian history to that date". In 1973 it was rumoured that Shaheen was going to found a newspaper, to be called the "New York Press". At the time his company, Shaheen Natural Resources, owned three radio stations and part of a television station, but had no experience in print media. It was reported in 1973 that he had made over $200M since World War II.
One of Shaheen's most memorable moments took place in the fall of 1974, when he chartered the Queen Elizabeth 2 to bring dignitaries to a barren plot of land on the Nova Scotia mainland, opposite Bear Head, Cape Breton. The inhabitants of the land had been cleared to make way for a large oil refinery, modeled on the Come By Chance refinery in Newfoundland, that Shaheen was promoting. The refinery was never built.
- John M. Shaheen, 70; Chief of Oil Company New York Times, 4 November 1985.
- Roger Hall, You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger, Naval Institute Press, 2004. p216
- John Shaheen, Oil Refiner, 70 South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 4 November 1984
- Lawrence E. Walsh, FINAL REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL FOR IRAN/CONTRA MATTERS, Chapter 15: William J. Casey
- Robert Parry, October Surprise X-Files (Part 3): Bill Casey's Iranian ... The Consortium
- It looks like John Shaheen has finally hit paydirt Windsor Star, 8 May 1974
- The Come By Chance Oil Refinery Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage
- What Are the Odds on a Newspaper Strike?, New York, Mar 26, 1973
- Oilman Betting New Paper Will Succeed in New York City Tuscaloosa News, Tuesday, October 16, 1973
- John Shaheen - quiet multi-millionaire and one of the world's biggest borrowers Montreal Gazette, 3 Aug 1973
- McNeil, J. (2009-02-11). "The Great Paper Boat Race of the World". capebretonsmagazine.com. Cape Breton's Magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- Robert Parry, October Surprise X-Files (Part 4): The Money Trail The Consortium