William Casey (March 13, 1913 - May 6, 1987) was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1981 to 1987. In this capacity he oversaw the entire US Intelligence Community and personally directed the Central Intelligence Agency.
A native of Queens, New York, Casey graduated from Fordham University (1934) and St. John's University School of Law (1937). Casey directed the successful presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1980. After Reagan was elected president, he named Casey to the post of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During his tenure at the CIA, Casey played a large part in the shaping of Reagan's foreign-policy, particularly its approach to Soviet expansionism. Casey oversaw the reexpansion of the Intelligence Community, in particular the CIA, to funding and human resource levels greater than those before resource cuts during the Carter Administration. During his tenure restrictions were lifted on the use of the CIA to directly, covertly influence the internal and foreign affairs of countries relevant to American policy.
This period of the Cold War saw a ramping up of the Agency's anti-Soviet activities around the world. Casey was the principal architect of the arms-for-hostages deal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair. He also oversaw covert assistance to the mujahadeen resistance in Afghanistan by working closely with Akhtar Abdur Rahman The Director General of ISI in Pakistan, the Solidarity movement in Poland, and a number of coups and attempted coups in South- and Central America.
Prior to heading the CIA, in the 1960s, Casey served as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In World War II, he was a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
William Casey died of brain cancer in 1987 at the age of 74. He is buried in the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, New York.
He was survived by his wife, the former Sophia McDaid, and his daughter, Bernadette Smith.