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

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

In a year when youth-hockey participation is expected to increase, Pittsburgh Penguins players weigh in on the role of the hockey parent.
Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

There’s a magical, snowy landscape right in your backyard.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

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


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments