Harry Gold was the son of poor Russian Jewish immigrants. He was a small quiet boy abused by his schoolmates. As a young man both he and his family became interested in Socialism, perhaps as a means of escape from their rough life. His interest in Socialism eventually led him to make contacts within the Communist movement. In 1935, Gold began to steal industrial formulas from the Pennsylvania Sugar Company, where he was working as a chemist. He had been asked by his friend Tom Black to aid the Soviets with the formulas. As Gold continued his espionage activities and rose in responsibility he began to tell his various contacts elaborate tales of his family life. But Gold's tales were all fantasy, he was actually a bachelor. Gold also began drinking heavily and was sloppy with the evidence of his illegal activities. Perhaps he wanted to be caught. Gold was given several days warning that the FBI was going to search his home, where he lived with his father and brother. Yet he didn't begin trying to rid his home of incriminating evidence until mere hours before the search was to begin. There was simply too much to destroy and Gold confessed to the FBI. Gold was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his espionage activities and actually seemed to adapt well to the structured life of prison.
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