John Shaheen

John Shaheen

John M. Shaheen (1915 in Lee County, Illinois - 1 November 1985, in New York) was an American financier and businessman. He had been involved in oil and life insurance.[1]


Prior to World War II Shaheen worked in publicity in Chicago.[2] During World War II Shaheen was at the Office of Strategic Services, and was awarded the Silver Star and Legion of Merit.[3] At OSS he was "chief of OSS Special Projects"[4] and head of the Reports Declassification Section,[2] and an advisor on the 1946 film O.S.S..[5] His friendship with William Casey, CIA Director under Ronald Reagan, derived from this period.[6][7] Under President Richard Nixon Shaheen was also "a special ambassador to Colombia".[3]

Shaheen founded a life insurance business, selling life insurance from airport vending machines, before moving into the oil business.[3][8] This included the Come By Chance Refinery in Newfoundland, Canada, which went bankrupt in 1976 owing around $500m, and was "one of the single largest bankruptcies in Canadian history to that date".[9] In 1973 it was rumoured that Shaheen was going to found a newspaper,[10] to be called the "New York Press".[11] At the time his company, Shaheen Natural Resources, owned three radio stations and part of a television station, but had no experience in print media.[11] It was reported in 1973 that he had made over $200m since World War II.[12]

Shaheen was one of the principal contributors to Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968, and in the top 100 Republican donors in 1972, giving $100,000.[11]

In 1981 Shaheen founded the Hong Kong Deposit and Guaranty Bank.[13]


  1. ^ New York Times, 4 November 1985, John M. Shaheen, 70; Chief of Oil Company
  2. ^ a b Roger Hall, You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger, Naval Institute Press, 2004. p216
  3. ^ a b c Sun-Sentinel, 4 November 1984, John Shaheen, Oil Refiner, 70
  4. ^
  5. ^,,1848927,00.html
  6. ^ Chapter 15 William J. Casey
  7. ^ Robert Parry, October Surprise X-Files (Part 3): Bill Casey's Iranian
  8. ^ The Windsor Star, 8 May 1974, It looks like John Shaheen has finally hit paydirt
  9. ^, The Come By Chance Oil Refinery
  10. ^ New York, What Are the Odds on a Newspaper Strike?, Mar 26, 1973 issue of New York
  11. ^ a b c Oilman Betting New Paper Will Succeed in New York City - The Tuscaloosa News, Tuesday, October 16, 1973
  12. ^ UPI, The Montreal Gazette, 3 Aug 1973, John Shaheen - quiet multi-millionaire and one of the world's biggest borrowers
  13. ^ Robert Parry, October Surprise X-Files (Part 4): The Money Trail