Aldrich Hazen Ames (born May 26, 1941) is a former Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence officer and analyst, who, in 1994, was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia.
Aldrich Ames was born in River Falls, Wisconsin, to Carleton Cecil Ames and Rachel Ames (née Aldrich). His father was a college lecturer, his mother a high school English teacher. Aldrich was the eldest of three children and the only son. In 1952 Carleton began working for CIA's Directorate of Operations in Virginia. In 1953 Carleton was posted to Southeast Asia for three years and was accompanied by his family. Carlton received a "particularly negative performance appraisal" in part because of a "serious alcohol dependency" and spent the remainder of his career at CIA Headquarters.
Aldrich Ames attended high school at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. Beginning in 1957, following his sophomore year, Ames worked for the CIA for three summers as a low-ranking (GS-3) records analyst, marking classified documents for filing. In 1959, Ames entered the University of Chicago planning to study foreign cultures and history, but his "long-time passion" for drama resulted in failing grades, and he did not finish out his sophomore year. Ames worked at the CIA during the summer of 1960 as a laborer/painter, and he then became an assistant technical director at a Chicago theater until February 1962. Returning to Washington area, Ames got full-time employment at the CIA doing the same sort of clerical jobs he had performed in high school.