Martha Jane "Marti" Peterson (née Denny; born May 27, 1945; Martha Jane Denny), now known as Martha Peterson Shogi, is a former operations officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as part of the TRIGON mission.

Martha Peterson
Martha Jane Denny

(1945-05-27) May 27, 1945 (age 74)
OccupationCIA officer
Years active1975–2003
Known forMarti of Trigon mission
Notable work
The Widow Spy
Spouse(s)John Peterson (1969–72; his death)
Stephen J. Shogi (1978–2010; his death)
Children2 (with Shogi)

Background and personal lifeEdit

Peterson was born Martha Jane Denny, on May 27, 1945, in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Riley and Dorothy Denny, while she grew up in Darien, Connecticut, with her sister, Mary Alice. She graduated from Darien High School in 1963 and from Drew University in 1967.[1] Her first week of college is where she met her first husband, John Peterson.[2] They married in 1969. He was from Bellingham, Massachusetts, Between 1967 and 1969, he served in the Special Forces,[3] and later became a Green Beret and CIA Officer. He was killed in the Vietnam War in a helicopter crash on October 19, 1972. On November 23, 1978, she married her second husband, State Department official Stephen Joseph Shogi. They have two children, Tyler and Lora Shogi, who she told she was in the CIA on March 28, 1997, when they were 17 and 15 years old, respectively. She resides in Wilmington, North Carolina.[4][5][6]

CIA careerEdit

Peterson joined the CIA after learning Russian in 1975. She was the first female officer sent to work in the Soviet Union in Moscow, dealing with dead drops to TRIGON, who was compromised while working in South America.[7] Peterson retired from the CIA in 2003.[1][4][5][6] She wrote a book about some of her experience in the CIA, entitled, The Widow Spy.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Patterson, Mary Jo (October 1, 2013). "The Widow Was a Spy". Drew Magazine. Archived from the original on June 20, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Peterson, Martha D. (August 21, 2018). "Mom reveals her secret spy life to kids". CNN. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  3. ^ MacPherson, Myra (June 21, 1978). "The Girl Next Door Comes in From the Cold". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Michallon, Clemence (June 19, 2016). "Became the first female intelligence officer stationed in communist Russia reveals how she told her children about her real identity". Daily Mail. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  5. ^ a b MacPherson, Myra (June 21, 1978). "The Girl Next Door Comes in From the Cold". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  6. ^ a b King, Adeline (June 16, 2016). "Feature on CNN 'Declassified': CIA Mom Reveals Her Secret Spy Life to Her Kids". Parent Herald. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Myre, Greg (June 10, 2019). "'Moscow Rules': How The CIA Operated Under The Watchful Eye Of The KGB". NPR. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Peterson, Martha (2012). The widow spy : my CIA journey from the jungles of Laos to prison in Moscow. Wilmington, N.C.: Red Canary Press. ISBN 9780983878124. OCLC 781289031.
  9. ^ Steelman, Ben (March 10, 2012). "Review - Former CIA spy gives her side of lives on the line". Star-News. Retrieved June 27, 2016.

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