Secret Agent L

She secretly strikes Pittsburgh with random acts of kindness then documents them on one of the web's most fun, fascinating, inspiring sites.



Ever find one of these? If so, you've been the fortunate accidental target of Secret Agent L.

Photo by Jonathan Wander

(page 1 of 2)

secret agent l

Photo by Jonathan Wander    

CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, Glamour.com … a lot has happened to the once-anonymous Secret Agent L since Pittsburgh Magazine first published our story about her (see page 2) in our July 2010 issue. On the 24th of that month Secret Agent L held a party at the Firehouse Lounge in the Strip District to reveal her true identity to her many fans.

In a dramatic entrance, music thumping, a spotlight shining on her back, the slender, 6 feet tall model/actress in secret agent-style trench coat, black hat and dark sunglasses walked through the parting crowd. On cue she turned, revealed, and was overwhelmed with warm applause and shouts.

At that moment, both nerve-wracking and exhilarating for her, Laura Miller did not imagine what her post-reveal life would become. Local television news was first to launch the wave of publicity. But it was a CNN interview on August 4 that brought worldwide attention.

“The public's reaction has been absolutely incredible,” Miller says. “My website has gotten almost 100,000 extra hits since the August 4 CNN interview. It seems that every couple of minutes, someone is on the site,” Miller says. “Plus I've received well over 2,000 emails and only two of those emails were hate mail. Not too bad! The other emails were all from people wanting to become Affiliated Agents, people deciding to follow me on Twitter, or individuals just simply stating how much they love the project.”

At the “Hello SAL” reveal party, which donated proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Miller revealed more than her own identity. She also singled out the person she calls her “Number 2,” the Robin to her Batman, friend and co-worker Vivian Lee Croft, who’s been helping Secret Agent L with her “missions” since the beginning over a year ago. At first, Croft wasn’t keen on the idea of giving up the anonymous nature of the project. “There was something about the anonymity that I particularly loved,” she said. “But the more we discussed the reveal and how it might help bring awareness not to the project per se, but the role of doing good things and doing them without the desire for reward, the more I came around to it.”

secret agent l

Laura Miller after revealing herself as Secret Agent L.

Photo by Johnathan Wander     

Croft says she’s “in awe” of what’s happened since the identity reveal. “Neither of us really had an idea of how much this project would blow up. It's phenomenal but it also a little hard for me to wrap my head around,” Croft said. But she adds that it’s not the media attention but the personal element that’s moved her the most. “I'm most overwhelmed with all of the comments surrounding the need for something like this, for something so genuine that could put a smile on someone else's face. To that I say, you don't have to be involved with the project, just be a conscientious human being. When we hear from those who have been touched by one of the missions we or the affiliate agents have done, that is the most gratifying part of this project for me.”

Like Croft, Miller feels that the Secret Agent L project has given her more than she’s given others. “I can't even begin to express how blessed I feel. I've met the most beautiful souls, I've had people share with me some pretty amazing stories about their lives, and I've been contacted by media outlets I never imagined would contact me,” Miller said. “And I even got to fly in an F-16 with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. It's like I'm living in a dream. But most importantly, it's really shown me that there is some fierce love and kindness out there. We just have to open our eyes and hearts to give and receive it. And nothing, nothing tops that.”

In her original interview with Pittsburgh Magazine, Miller said, “I am in love with Pittsburgh in a way that I don’t think I can put to words.” On September 14 the City of Pittsburgh officially loved her back, officially proclaiming it “Secret Agent L Day” in the city she adores.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

‘The Chainsmokers’ Forgot Spellcheck for Pittsburgh Concert

‘The Chainsmokers’ Forgot Spellcheck for Pittsburgh Concert

A mistake at the end of the duo's sold-out show earned them some good-natured teasing on social media.
So Where are the Best 'Burbs in the Pittsburgh Area?

So Where are the Best 'Burbs in the Pittsburgh Area?

Pittsburgh-based Niche crunched a whole lot of data to rank the best suburbs in the country, the state, and around here.
Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

The Pittsburgh Penguins and a St. Louis developer hope to eventually build 1,000 residential units near PPG Paints Arena.
Watch: Phil Kessel has a Mini-Me – And He's Too Cute

Watch: Phil Kessel has a Mini-Me – And He's Too Cute

Have the Pens have found their new meme for the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Go subterranean at Laurel Caverns, the largest cave in Pennsylvania.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


‘The Chainsmokers’ Forgot Spellcheck for Pittsburgh Concert

‘The Chainsmokers’ Forgot Spellcheck for Pittsburgh Concert

A mistake at the end of the duo's sold-out show earned them some good-natured teasing on social media.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

Delivering the Homily at Rooney's funeral, Cardinal Donald Wuerl acknowledged a longstanding Rooney philosophical belief: “You can get anything done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

This couple’s proposal story really takes the cake.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments