Mary R. Stalcup Markward (February 10, 1922November 23, 1972) was for seven years a member of the Washington, DC "District Communist Party" as director of the party's membership. She was actually working undercover for the FBI. [1]


She was born as Mary R. Stalcup to Maria and Benjamin Stalcup. [2] Benjamin worked as a government bookbinder. She lived in Fairfax County, Virginia and was recruited by the FBI in 1943, just a week after her wedding. Her husband, George A. Markward (1912-1969), had been sent to Europe to fight in World War II. She was working in a beauty shop on Massachusetts Avenue. [1] [3] She may have been approached to spy because several of her clients were thought to be Communists by the FBI. Her daughter believed that her mother's essay written about her pride in being an American brought her to the attention of the FBI. The essay was published in a local Virginia paper. [1] Markward worked undercover for almost seven years. [3] [4]

Markward testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on July 11, 1951 that Annie Lee Moss and about 240 other people were Communist party members. [4] She provided the names of their spouses and gave the exact dates of party meetings. [1] Mary Stalcup Markward died in November 23, 1972 in Silver Springs, Maryland at age 50. [5] [6] She was buried in Baltimore National Cemetery. [7]


  1. ^ a b c d "Pointing the Way in the Hunt for Communists.". Washington Post. Monday, July 5, 1999. "Mary Stalcup Markward appeared nervous as she made her way into the cramped hearing room on the morning of July 11, 1951. ..." 
  2. ^ 1930 US Census with Stalcup in Fairfax, Virginia
  3. ^ a b "Woman Tells of Outwitting Reds In Seven Years as Agent for F.B.I.". New York Times. July 7, 1951, Saturday. "Mrs. Mary Stalcup Markward, 29-yearold former beauty shop worker, told today how she worked for nearly seven years as an undercover agent for the Federal" 
  4. ^ a b "F.B.I. Woman Limns Hard Lives of Reds. Agent Discloses Communist Party Tacticts.". New York Times. July 12, 1951, Thursday. "A Communist's life is not a happy one, the House committee on Un-American Activities was told today by a young woman who had spent almost seven years as a rank-and-file member of the party while an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation." 
  5. ^ "Mary Markward, FBI Informant, Dies.". Washington Post. November 25, 1972. "Mary Stalcup Markward, a beauty shop operator who became an FBI informant and identified more than 200 persons as Communists during congressional hearings in the early 1950s, died of heart failure Thursday at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was 50." 
  6. ^ Social Security Death Index; Mary Markward; b. 10 February 1922 - d. November 1972
  7. ^ "Mary S. Markward". Findagrave.