NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Georgetown, Federal Government Employees, Journalists, LGBTQ, Spies, Veterans

Joseph Alsop
(October 10, 1919 – August 28, 1989)

2720 Dumbarton St. NW, Georgetown neighborhood, DC.

Alsop was a journalist who worked for the New York Herald Tribune and the Saturday Evening Post, as well as writing a nationally syndicated column that ran in newspapers from the 1930s to the 1970s, believed to be the longest-running nationally syndicated column of its kind, appearing three times a week in over 300 papers.  Alsop served in the Navy in WWII and was captured in Hong Kong and interned by the Japanese for six months.  He later gathered intelligence for the CIA using his status as a foreign correspondent as his cover.  An outspoken supporter of the Vietnam War and an anti-communist, Alsop became a close friend and advisor to President John F. Kennedy.

Alsop is the author of six books on politics, including the best-seller The 168 Days (1938, co-written with Turner Catledge), two books on the visual arts, including From the Silent Earth: A Report on the Greek Bronze Age (1964), and a memoir, published posthumously, titled I’ve Seen the Best of It (1992, co-written with Adam Platt). 

Although married for 17 years, Alsop was a closeted homosexual; in 1957 he was photographed by the KGB in a Moscow hotel room having sex with another man. The KGB used the photos to harass and try to blackmail Alsop; instead, Alsop submitted a complete written report on his sex life to the CIA, naming former lovers across three continents.

Alsop put his considerable personal connections to use in his journalism. He was related to the Roosevelts, and Alice Roosevelt Longworth was a frequent guest at his exclusive parties, as were the Kennedys, John Foster Dulles, Henry Kissinger, Phil and Katherine Graham, Ben Bradlee, and David and Evangeline Bruce. Alsop bragged that he was a member of the “WASP ascendancy.