Vilyam (Willie) Genrikhovich (August) Fisher (Вильям Генрихович Фишер) (July 11, 1903 — November 16, 1971) was a noted Soviet intelligence officer. He is generally better known by the alias Rudolf Abel, which he adopted on his arrest. His last name is sometimes given as Fischer; his patronymic is sometimes less exactly transliterated as Genrikovich.
He was born in England at 142 Clara Street, Benwell, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1903. His parents, ethnic Germans from Russia, had been active in the revolutionary movement in Russia, and had fled to England in 1901. His father, Genrikh (Heinrich), was a keen Bolshevik who took part in clandestine operations shipping arms and literature from the North East coast. The father, Genrikh, published a book V Rossii i v Anglii ("In Russia and in England") in 1922 detailing his life in Newcastle.
Willie grew up in Whitley Bay, to where the family moved, and attended the Whitley Bay and Monkseaton Grammar school (Now Whitley Bay High School). The family lived at several addresses, mostly in Lish Avenue. Their last residence was at No. 18. Willlie became an apprentice draughtsman at Swan Hunter Wallsend, in 1918, but attended evening classes at Rutherford College and matriculated for London University in 1920. The Fisher family left Whitley Bay, however, for the newly-established Soviet Union in 1921, where Genrikh died in 1935.