David Chavchavadze

David Chavchavadze (May 20, 1924 – October 5, 2014) was a British-born American author and a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer of Georgian-Russian origin.

David Chavchavadze
Prince David Chavchavadze.JPG
David Chavchavadze
Born(1924-05-20)May 20, 1924
London, England
DiedOctober 5, 2014(2014-10-05) (aged 90)
Washington DC, U.S.
Noble familyChavchavadze
FatherPrince Paul Chavchavadze
MotherPrincess Nina Georgievna of Russia
OccupationCIA Officer, author

Life and deathEdit

Chavchavadze was born in London to Prince Paul Chavchavadze (1899–1971) and Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia (Romanov) (1901–1974), a descendant of a prominent Georgian noble family and the Imperial Russian dynasty.[1] His father, Prince Paul, was a fiction writer and translator of writings from Georgian into English, and an émigré in the United Kingdom, and then the United States.[citation needed]

Chavchavadze entered the United States Army in 1943 and served during World War II as liaison for the U.S. Army Air Force Lend-Lease supply operations to the Soviet Union. During his time in WWII, he trained at Camp Ritchie putting him among the ranks of many Ritchie Boys. After the war, he entered Yale University where he was a member of The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, the second longest running a cappella group in the United States. He spent more than two decades of his career as a CIA officer in the Soviet Union Division.[2]

After his retirement, Chavchavadze specialized in tracing the nobility of Imperial Russia and authored The Grand Dukes (1989). He also published Crowns and Trenchcoats: A Russian Prince in the CIA (1989) based on his CIA experiences, and translated from Russian Stronger Than Power: A Collection of Stories by Sandji B. Balykov, an emigre Kalmyk writer. Additionally, he lectured part-time at Georgetown, The George Washington and George Mason Universities on Russian history and culture.

As a grandchild of a Russian Grand Duke, he was an Associate Member of the Romanov Family Association. Via his mother, Chavchavadze is great-great-grandson (through Grand Duke Mikhail Nicholaevich) and simultaneously great-great-great-grandson (through Queen of Greece, Olga Constantinovna) of Nicholas I.[3] He is also a second cousin to King Charles III of the United Kingdom via his mother as well.

David Chavchavadze died in his sleep on October 5, 2014, aged 90, after a long illness.

Marriages and childrenEdit

He married Helen Husted on September 13, 1952 and they were divorced in 1959. They have two daughters and three grandchildren:

  • "Princess" Maria Chavchavadze (August 28, 1953) married Alexander Rasic on October 27, 1990 and they were divorced. They have one daughter:
    • Yelena Rasic (December 16, 1990)
  • "Princess" Alexandra Chavchavadze (December 24, 1954) married Puthukuty Krishnan Ramani on November 26, 1988. They have two children:
    • Alexander Chavchavadze Ramani-Poduval (May 18, 1991)
    • Caroline Chavchavadze Ramani-Poduval (June 6, 1994)

He remarried Judith Clippinger on December 28, 1959 and they were divorced in 1970. They have two children and three grandchildren:

  • "Princess" Catherine Chavchavadze (December 29, 1960) married John Alan Redpath on September 22, 1990. They have two daughters:
    • Sophia Redpath (July 4, 1996)
    • Nina Nolan Redpath (October 13, 1998)
  • "Prince" Michael Chavchavadze (August 1, 1966) married Colleen Quinn in 2011. They have one son:
    • "Prince" David Chavchavadze (2016)

He remarried, again, Euginie de Smitt in 1979. They have one step-son, Paul George Olkhovsky (August 11, 1960.)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Genealogy, capecodhistory.us; accessed March 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Chavchavadze, David (1990). Crowns and Trenchcoats. A Russian Prince in the CIA. New York, NY: Atlantic International Publications. p. 315.
  3. ^ Chavchavadze, David. "The artistic legacy of two grandmothers" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-05-02.

External linksEdit