Home » Howard Hunt Net Worth: The Intriguing Financial Journey of a CIA Operative and Author

Howard Hunt Net Worth: The Intriguing Financial Journey of a CIA Operative and Author

by Mahmood Rehan
Net Worth$5 million
Date of BirthOctober 9, 1918
Place of BirthHamburg, New York
ProfessionAuthor, CIA Officer
SpouseDorothy Wetzel, Laura Martin
DiedJanuary 23, 2007
NationalityUnited States of America

Everette Howard Hunt Jr., better known as Howard Hunt, led a life filled with espionage, covert operations, and a prolific writing career. He is famous for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, but his life story is much more than that. In this article, we will explore Howard Hunt’s net worth and delve into the sources of his income, his achievements, family, controversies, and ultimately, his legacy.

Short Bio – Famous For

Howard Hunt, born on October 9, 1918, in Hamburg, New York, is famous for his multifaceted career. He served as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, played a key role in the Watergate scandal, and was a prolific author with 73 books to his name. Let’s take a closer look at his intriguing journey.

Career & Achievement

Howard Hunt’s career was as diverse as it was fascinating. He began his journey during World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy, the United States Army Air Corps, and later the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was a precursor to the CIA. His career highlights include:

CIA Career: Hunt joined the CIA in 1949 and specialized in political action and influence as part of the CIA’s Special Activities Division. He served in various roles, including station chief in Mexico City and Chief of Covert Action in Japan.

  • Involvement in Regime Change: Hunt played a pivotal role in the CIA’s covert operations, including the successful overthrow of Jacobo Árbenz, the democratically elected president of Guatemala. He was also involved in anti-Castro efforts and the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • Watergate Scandal: Hunt’s most notorious involvement was in the Watergate scandal. He, along with G. Gordon Liddy, orchestrated the Watergate burglaries, leading to his conviction on charges of burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping.
  • Authorship: Hunt was a prolific author, writing novels under his own name and various pseudonyms. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his writing and continued to publish spy thrillers even after his prison release.

Howard Hunt was a prolific author who wrote under various pseudonyms. Here is a list of some of his famous works:

  1. East of Farewell (1942) – One of his early novels, exploring themes of espionage and intrigue.
  2. Limit of Darkness (1944) – Another early work, showcasing Hunt’s talent for crafting suspenseful narratives.
  3. Stranger in Town (1947) – A novel that delves into the mysteries of a small town and its secrets.
  4. Maelstrom (1949) – Hunt’s writing prowess shines in this thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
  5. Bimini Run (1949) – A story of adventure and intrigue set in the Caribbean, reflecting Hunt’s fascination with exotic locales.
  6. The Violent Ones (1950) – This novel explores the darker side of human nature and the consequences of violence.

These are just a few examples of Howard Hunt’s works. He wrote many more novels under different pseudonyms, and his writing career continued for decades, producing numerous spy thrillers and suspenseful stories.


Howard Hunt had a family that stood by him through his tumultuous life. He was married twice:

  • His first wife, Dorothy Wetzel, was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1972. They had four children together: Saint John, Lisa, Kevan, and David.
  • Hunt later married Laura Martin, and they had two children, Austin and Hollis.

Sources of Income

Hunt’s income primarily came from:

  • CIA Career: His service in the CIA provided him with a stable income.
  • Authorship: Hunt’s writing career, which spanned numerous books, earned him royalties and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • Consulting: He worked as a consultant for the Robert R. Mullen Company, which cooperated with the CIA.

Net Worth Figure and Rankings

Determining Howard Hunt’s exact net worth can be challenging due to the covert nature of his work. However, it is estimated that at the peak of his career, his net worth was around $5 million, thanks to his CIA salary, writing royalties, and consulting fees.

Lifestyle and Expenses

Howard Hunt books
Image by Peter Davis/Getty Images

Hunt’s lifestyle was a mix of secrecy and privilege. While his covert operations required discretion, he enjoyed the financial benefits of his various income sources. He likely had access to resources that allowed him to lead a comfortable life, both during and after his CIA career.

Controversies/Financial Challenges

The most significant controversy in Howard Hunt’s life was his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He faced legal challenges, including imprisonment for 33 months. Additionally, his involvement in covert operations and espionage activities occasionally put him at odds with political and ethical boundaries.

Howard Hunt was also linked to conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination:

“Three Tramps” Theory: Allegations arose that Hunt was one of the “three tramps” arrested near the Texas School Book Depository after President Kennedy’s assassination. Investigations found no credible evidence to support this claim.

Compulsive Spy and Coup d’Etat in America: A book by Tad Szulc alleged that Hunt was involved in plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro and was the CIA’s acting chief in Mexico City when Lee Harvey Oswald visited. Investigations failed to substantiate these claims.

Libel Suit: Hunt filed a libel suit against Liberty Lobby, a newspaper that implicated him in the Kennedy assassination. The case had mixed outcomes, with a verdict in Hunt’s favor initially, but it was later overturned on appeal.

Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB allegedly fabricated a conspiracy theory linking Hunt to Lee Harvey Oswald as part of a disinformation campaign to discredit the CIA.

“Deathbed Confession”: After Hunt’s death, his sons claimed he made recordings implicating various individuals in the Kennedy assassination. However, the validity of these claims remains disputed, with some questioning their credibility.


Howard Hunt passed away on January 23, 2007, at the age of 88, in Miami, Florida. His death marked the end of a complex and intriguing life that left a lasting impact on American history.


Howard Hunt’s net worth is shrouded in secrecy, much like his career in espionage. While his involvement in the Watergate scandal garnered significant attention, his contributions to literature and the CIA cannot be overlooked. His legacy remains a subject of intrigue, and his story serves as a testament to the complexities of a life lived in the shadows of espionage and covert operations.


Who was Howard Hunt’s wife?

Howard Hunt had two wives during his lifetime:

  1. Dorothy Hunt: He was married to Dorothy Hunt from 1949 until her death in 1972. Dorothy Hunt was tragically killed in the December 8, 1972, crash of United Airlines Flight 553 in Chicago.
  2. Laura E. Martin: After Dorothy’s passing, Howard Hunt married Laura E. Martin in 1977. They were married until his death in 2007.

These marriages were a part of Howard Hunt’s personal life, which was often overshadowed by his involvement in various historical events and controversies.

Did Howard Hunt have children?

Yes, Howard Hunt had children. He had four children with his first wife, Dorothy Hunt. Their names are:

  1. Saint John Hunt
  2. Austin Hunt
  3. David Hunt

These children were a part of Howard Hunt’s family, and they have been involved in discussions and controversies related to their father’s activities and claims made after his death.

How old was Howard Hunt when he died?

Howard Hunt passed away on January 23, 2007. He was born on October 9, 1918. Therefore, at the time of his death, Howard Hunt was 88 years old.

Did Howard Hunt write a book?

Yes, Howard Hunt was a prolific author who wrote several books during his lifetime. He authored a wide range of novels and spy thrillers, often using various pseudonyms. Some of his notable works include:

  1. East of Farewell (1942)
  2. Limit of Darkness (1944)
  3. Stranger in Town (1947)
  4. Maelstrom (1949)
  5. Bimini Run (1949)
  6. The Violent Ones (1950)

He also wrote spy and hardboiled novels under pseudonyms like Robert Dietrich, Gordon Davis, David St. John, and P. S. Donoghue. Hunt’s writing career continued after his release from prison, and he published nearly twenty spy thrillers between 1980 and 2000. His books often drew from his experiences in espionage and government service.

Was Howard Hunt a CIA agent?

Yes, Howard Hunt was indeed a CIA agent. He served as an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1949 to 1970. During his tenure with the CIA, he was involved in various covert operations and espionage activities, including planning the overthrow of the Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and participating in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. Hunt’s career at the CIA was marked by his involvement in intelligence and covert action activities on behalf of the United States government.

Featured Image Credits: Bettmann/Getty Images

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