George Tenet is a former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) for the United States Central Intelligence Agency as well as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

Tenet held the position as the DCI from July 1997 to July 2004, making him the second-longest-serving director in the agency’s history—behind Allen Welsh Dulles—as well as one of the few DCIs to serve under two U.S. presidents of opposing political parties. He played a key role in overseeing the intelligence behind the Iraq War. A 2005 Inspector General’s report found that Tenet bears “ultimate responsibility” for the United States intelligence community’s failure to develop a plan to control al Qaeda in the lead-up to 9/11.

“I’m Greek,

and we’re conspiratorial by nature.”

Is George Tenet Greek?

Yes, he’s Greek on both sides of his family. George Tenet was born on January 5, 1953, in Flushing, Queens, New York City, New York, the son of Greek immigrants Evangelia and John Tenet.

Tenet was raised in Little Neck, Queens, where as a teenager, he and his older brother Bill worked as busboys in their family’s diner, the Twentieth Century Diner. Despite Bill and George being fraternal twins, both had different personalities; in his book Ghost Wars, Steve Coll described Bill as “reserved, precise, and studious” (he would later become a cardiologist) and George as “loud, sloppy, and boisterous”. He played basketball and softball for his Greek Orthodox church, where he was also an altar server.

When received the 12th Annual “Freedom Award” from the Pancyprian Association of America in 2003 Tenet said, among other things:

“…being blessed by a great family, by a great heritage, a great culture, and a great religion.” Speaking on the same tune, he (Tenet) said, that he comes from a community of Greek Americans who gave him great strength and honor…

After telling the audience how his mother escaped from Southern Albania, just as the wall was closing and the iron curtain was coming down, he said:
“Vorioipirotes understand Cypriots, believe me, they understand pain and suffering”. – GreekNewsOnline, June 10, 2003