Tony Mendez Biography – Tony Mendez Wiki
Tony Mendez born Antonio Joseph Mendez, was an American CIA intelligence officer, an author and an artist.
Tony Mendez attended the University of Colorado and worked as a plumber and an illustrator/tool designer for Martin Marietta where he was responsible for designing electronic components for the Titan IIIC ICBM.
In 1965 Tony Mendez was recruited from Denver through a blind ad to work as an espionage artist for the Technical Services Division of the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington D.C. Twenty months later he and his family moved to the Far East where they stayed for seven years while Mendez worked in the CIA’s technical operations in South and Southeast Asia.
For twenty-five years Tony Mendez worked under cover, often overseas, participating in the shadow conflicts in some of the most important theaters of the Cold War. By the time Mendez retired in November 1990, the Cold War was over. He had been promoted to SIS-2, the equivalent of a two star General in the military. He had earned the CIA’s Intelligence Medal of Merit as well as the Intelligence Star and two Certificates of Distinction. In September 1997 on the fiftieth anniversary of the CIA, he was awarded the Trailblazer Medallion. In October 2000 Mendez was awarded the Order of the Sphinx which is the Interallied Distinguished Service Cross for serving the Allied cause for freedom behind enemy lines.
Tony Mendez appeared on Dan Rather Evening News, Charlie Rose, C-Span, CNN, Fox News Channel, Good Morning America, and Fresh Air, to name a few. His presentation for the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, DC was sold out to over 600 attendees.
Tony Mendez Age
He was born on November 15, 1940 in Eureka, Nevada, United States. He died on January 19, 2019 in Frederick, Maryland, United States aged 78.
Tony Mendez Parents
He was born to John George Mendez and Neva June Tognoni.
Tony Mendez Wife
He married his first wife, Karen Mendez. They had three children together. Karen died of cancer in 1986. Their son Ian died in 2010. Their son Antonio Tobias Mendez is a sculptor.
He married his second wife Jonna Hiestand Mendez. They had a son together. Jonna is a retired CIA intelligence officer.
Tony Mendez Children
He had 4 children. Three children with his first wife; Ian Mendez, Antonio Tobias Mendez and Amanda Mendez, and a son with his second wife.
Tony Mendez Death
He died on January 19, 2019 in Frederick, Maryland, United States aged 78. Mendez’s book agent, Christy Fletcher, confirmed his death in a statement on Twitter: “Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) J. Mendez finally succumbed to the Parkinson’s Disease that he had been diagnosed with ten+ years ago. He was surrounded with love from his family and will be sorely missed. The last thing he and his wife Jonna Mendez did was get their new book to the publisher and he died feeling he had completd writing the stories that he wanted to be told. There will be a private burial in the family graveyard in Nevada.”
I have very sad news to report. I was honored to work with Tony Mendez for twenty years and his loving wife Jonna. This is a crushing loss for his family, friends and our world. I will miss him very very much. Family statement follows #TonyMendez #argo pic.twitter.com/B3akZ6QFsZ
— Christy Fletcher (@FletcherChristy) January 19, 2019
Tony Mendez Cause of Death
Mendez succumbed to the Parkinson’s Disease that he had been diagnosed with more than 10 years ago.
Tony Mendez Ethnicity
He was born into an ethnically diverse family. His father was of Mexican descent, and his mother had Italian, French, and Irish ancestry.
Tony Mendez Nationality
He was of American nationality.