Bela Gold, also known as Bill Gold, was born 30 January 1915 in Goloszvar, Hungary, and was married to Sonia Steinman Gold in 1938. Gold attended New York University majoring in industrial engineering for four years, then attended Columbia University for two years in graduate studies on economics.
In Washington Gold worked for the Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization. Also for the Economic Programs in the Foreign Economic Administration. In 1942 Gold described his job as principal social science analyst, and that his duties were to carry out special administrative research assignments for the Chief of the Bureau of Intelligence, Office of Facts and Figures, for the head of the Division of Program Surveys, Bureau of Agriculture Economics. On a government questionnaire Gold stated he was best suited for directing research requiring knowledge of many engineering, managerial and economic aspects of industrial operations, and also as a director of social research.
Gold was a member of the Silvermaster spy ring, a group of American citizens working within the government which gathered and transmitted classified information to the Soviet Union during World War II. The information he supplied Soviet intelligence was considered excellent information regarding United States Foreign Economic Administration. His salary in his job was more than double many other members of the group.
Gold served as an adviser on Foreign Economic Development Problems and Programs. Specifically he arranged for the analysis of plans and projects for the reconstruction of war damaged areas and the economic development of foreign countries, and helped formulate programs for major geographical areas of the world in conformance with the long range interests of the United States. Gold would apprise the relationships among industry, reconstruction, foreign development, U. S, conversion,and foreign disposal requirements, for the effective adjustment to one another, and apprise the relationship between war relief and immediate rehabilitation measures, and longer run proposals to minimize waste and major gaps in the continuity of reconstruction programs. And Gold would arrange for the comparative analysis of U.S. postwar requirements for war materials and consumers' goods and the production potentials and local market potentials of alternate development requirements.
Gold's code name in Soviet intelligence and in the Venona project is "Acorn".