Born Moishe Chilovsky in Kiev in 1902, grew up in Chicago, changing his name to Morris Childs and taking part in a growing left wing movement within the city. Became one of the charter members of the American Communist Party in 1919.
In 1929 was selected by the Soviet Communist Party to attend the prestigious Lenin School in Moscow where he learned about the concepts of developing revolution and the fundamental principles of Communism. Among his schoolmates were future Soviet premiers Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev and Morris Ponomarov who would go on to serve as a member of the politburo and as the international head of the Communist Party.
After numerous raids on American Communist Party leaders in the United States by the FBI, the Justice Department sought to destroy the party from within by seeking disillusioned members of the group. Because of his ill health and his loss of his position, the FBI targeted Morris and his brother Jack as ideal candidates to work as informants. Morris was approached by FBI agent Carl Freyman who found that Morris was not only angry over his betrayal by the American Communist Party, but has also become disillusioned with the Communist mantra, especially in light of the egregious actions of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Morris agreed to work with the FBI to gather information about the Communist Party. The U.S. Government provided medical treatment for Morris and he soon regained his health. Was assigned the title Agent CG5824S but was referred to internally as “58.” Because the hope was that Morris would travel alone into the Soviet Union in a quest for information, the involvement was deemed “Operation Solo.”
After two years of working his way back into the American Communist fold, Morris was summoned to a meeting where he was instructed to travel to Russia to arrange for financing of the American Communist Party by the Soviets. Traveled to the Soviet Union in April 1958 and met with his old friend Morris Ponomarov who deemed Childs the real United States ambassador. The two devised a plan by which to smuggle Soviet funds into the United States, using Morris’ brother Jack as a courier. Over 30 years, the Childs brothers would facilitate the transfer of more than $30 million, which was then disbursed by Morris throughout the United States to different American communist causes (with the FBI, of course, monitoring the activity. The FBI took an inventory of the money and traced its origins, determining that a significant amount of it flowed in from Cuba).
Married Eva Lieb in 1962 and revealed his role as an agent of the FBI. Eva participated in the clandestine activities as well as providing moral support to Morris who often found himself under overwhelming stress. Morris Traveled back to Moscow in November 1963 and was visiting with Ponomarov when news arrived of the assassination of President John Kennedy. Childs, who understood Russian fluently (a fact that he kept from the Soviets) listened in to a conversation between Ponomarov and a KGB official. From this Childs learned that the Soviet Union had nothing to do with the assassination. While in Moscow, Childs would bring home sensitive files which he and Eva would copy in the dark of night. Eva then smuggled these copies inside her blouse back to the United States.
Chambers faded from the public eye and died in July 1961. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Chambers the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.