Nuclear Museum Logo
Nuclear Museum Logo

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Morton Sobell

Soviet SpyManhattan, NY

EngineerSpy
Morton Sobell

Morton Sobell was an American electrical engineer who stole information from his employer, General Electric, and passed it along to the Soviet Union. He was implicated in the same Soviet spy ring that included Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

During World War II, Sobell worked as an electrical engineer for General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. During that time, Sobell stole information about secret war-related projects, including anti-aircraft gun designs. After accusations of his espionage emerged in 1950, Sobell and his family fled to Mexico but were later kidnapped by armed men and returned to the United States, where they were turned over to the FBI. In 1951, Sobell was tried and convicted of espionage in connection with Julius Rosenberg and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. He was released after serving seventeen years and nine months.

Sobell maintained his innocence for much of his life and claimed that his conviction was a case of justice being subverted to serve political goals. In 2008, at the age of ninety-one, Sobell told the New York Times that he did in fact turn over military secrets to the Soviets during World War II. He currently resides in Bronx, New York.

Morton Sobell's Timeline
1917 Apr 11th Born in New York City, New York.
1938 Received B.A. in Engineering from the City College of New York.
1951 Convicted of espionage in connection with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and sentenced to thirty years in prison.
2008 Admitted to the New York Times that he did in fact turn over military secrets to the Soviets.

Related Profiles

Ralph E. Miller

K-25 Plant

Attended Evansville College.

George Koval

Dayton, OH

George Koval was an American chemical engineer and one of the most important Soviet spies of the 20th century.

Esther Stenstrom

Oak Ridge, TN

Esther Stenstrom arrived at Oak Ridge in 1943, after she and her husband were picked to work in the secret city.

Leo A. Ohlinger

Chicago, IL

Leo A. Ohlinger was a senior engineer at the University of Chicago Met Lab. Ohlinger was also Section Chief of P-IX, Engineering Physics.