Reading: When Your Father is a Spy


When Your Father is a Spy

Eva Dillon thought she knew everything about her father

by Lesley Jane Seymour

Growing up, Eva Dillon and her family moved all over the world because her father worked for the State Department–or so she’d been told. During the summer of 1975, when she was 17 and the Dillons were living in New Delhi, her father was revealed to be a CIA spy.

Years later, while clearing out her mothers home, Eva and her brother stumbled across letters and newspaper clippings that led Eva to begin digging into her father’s past. The result is a book called Spies in the Family–a story about how her father ended up managing the CIA’s highest-ranking double agent, Soviet general Dmitri Fedorovich Polyakov and helping keep the Cold War from turning hot.

In CoveyClub podcast #1, CC’s Lesley Jane Seymour talks to Eva about the personal side of the story: one daughter’s journey toward seeing her father in a new light. Eva also discusses how she reinvented her career, successfully morphing from magazine publisher to late-in-life writer. Click here to download The Covey Cast from Podbean or iTunes and to listen to this very inspiring discussion. And note: Eva makes a very special offer to CoveyClub members at the end of the podcast.

  1. Bonnie Barest

    Eva’s story is really a great read. Plus, it was great to hear her at the 92Y.

    I’ve known Eva for many years when she was in the publishing business and I was so excited to learn of her story.

    Can’t wait to listen to the Podcast.

  2. roger a gross

    Greetings to you Ms. Dillon:
    I saw her story through a federal news page link, Feedspot and SpyCast / Spies in the Family: An Interview with Eva Dillon (
    I am a retired federal law enforcement officer with 42 years service and visited the CIA on an assignment. I was also assigned to Homeland Security and worked on national plans with the IC, (Emily will know what IC means) community .There are several other retired federal employees, men who have served in the military including a retired full bird colonel from the Intelligence field, plus doctors, dentists and Indian Chiefs.  As it is called Company A, it had its foundations in 1989 with many men being veterans.

    I would like to know if you would be able to speak to a group of retired Jewish men. I am a member of this group called Company A with over 160 members situated in Palm Beach County. I am one of the youngest members at 67 and several men are in their 90’s with an average age of about 83. We have men who are from Israel and some are children of holocaust survivors or were children who survived. We speak on Zoom on various topics to each other and invite speakers to speak via zoom.  
    We have a speaker coordinator named Dr. Paul Hart who is the retired medical examiner from the state of Massachusetts. The group met in person, but due to COVID, all our speaking is done on Zoom.

    I have been able to coordinate 2 speakers for the group. One is a 93 year old Jewish woman whose father fought in World War one and was denied the Medal of Honor because he was Jewish.  She received it in her father’s name from President Obama.  Additionally, we have a Military, Medical and Police psychologist from Canada who is the son of Holocaust survivor who will speak on far right extremism.  

    I thank you in advance,


    Roger Gross

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