The son of John Wolfenden, chair of the Wolfenden Report which recommended the legalisation of male homosexual acts in Britain, Jeremy Wolfenden was himself homosexual. He was regarded by others of his generation as a leader and a man of distinct individualism. He won a scholarship to Eton where he was known as 'cleverest boy in England', then to his father's alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford, where he obtained a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He subsequently became a Prize Fellow of All Souls. His Finals examiner at Oxford, after giving him eight alphas, wrote: "He wrote as though it were all beneath him; he wrote as though it were all such a waste of his time"
Wolfenden was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) before becoming the Daily Telegraph foreign correspondent in Moscow where he indulged in his twin passions for sex and alcohol and was eventually compromised by the KGB. He struck up friendships with Guy Burgess, the British defector, and Martina Browne, the nanny employed by Ruari and Janet Chisholm, who were working for SIS and were instrumental in the defection of Oleg Penkovsky — a colonel in Soviet military intelligence — who was responsible for disabusing the Kennedy administration of the myth that the 'missile gap' was in the Soviet's favour. Wolfenden subsequently came under pressure from both SIS and the KGB while in Moscow and swapped roles with the Telegraph's Washington correspondent, where he married Martina Browne.
He died aged 31 in what appeared to be suspicious circumstances in Washington. It was claimed he had fainted in the bathroom, cracked his head against the washbasin and died of a cerebral haemorrhage. It is now thought likely that he died of liver failure brought on by his excessive drinking.
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More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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