Home News News Blog Celebrating the Life of Walter Walsh

Celebrating the Life of Walter Walsh

As an FBI agent, he battled gangsters like Arthur “Doc” Barker and Alfred Brady. As a U.S. Marine, he fought valiantly in the Pacific Theater during WWII. As an expert marksman, he won numerous honors throughout his life, including competing on the U.S. Olympic shooting team in the 1948 London Summer Games. His life consisted of tales both harrowing and heroic. And it is with a heavy heart that the FBI pays its respects to the storied Walter Walsh, who passed away earlier this week at his Virginia home. He would have celebrated his 107th birthday this Sunday.

May 02, 2014 05:00 PM

Celebrating the Life of Walter Walsh


As an FBI agent, he battled gangsters like Arthur “Doc” Barker and Alfred Brady. As a U.S. Marine, he fought valiantly in the Pacific Theater during WWII. As an expert marksman, he won numerous honors throughout his life, including competing on the U.S. Olympic shooting team in the 1948 London Summer Games.

His life consisted of tales both harrowing and heroic. And it is with a heavy heart that the FBI pays its respects to the storied Walter Walsh, who passed away earlier this week at his Virginia home. He would have celebrated his 107th birthday this Sunday.

Born in New Jersey on May 4, 1907, Walsh joined the FBI in 1934 under Director J. Edgar Hoover and quickly earned a name for himself in the days of the Gangster Era. In 1942, Walsh joined the Marines, where he trained snipers in North Carolina before being assigned to combat duty in 1944, which led to his participation in the invasion of Okinawa. After the war, he came back to the FBI for a brief period of time, but eventually returned to active duty, retiring in 1969. Throughout his life, Walsh remained a competitive—and extremely medaled—sharpshooter and continued shooting even as a centenarian.

In 2008, Walsh attended the FBI’s 100th anniversary celebration, where—at one year older than the organization itself—he was recognized as the oldest living former FBI agent.


Retired FBI Special Agent Richard “Bugsy” Boteler, a former Marine who met Walsh in 1987 at the annual FBI-Marine Corps birthday celebration in Washington, D.C. and developed a close friendship with him over the years, remembers Walsh fondly. “He was the most humble man you’d ever meet—you would never know of his accomplishments,” Boteler said. “To know Colonel Walsh has really been an honor. He was an extraordinary man.”

We agree. The FBI is honored to have been part of his full and incredible life.