Reporter Held Hostage Dies at Age 76

( – In 1985, the world was stunned when a reporter with the Associated Press was kidnapped in Lebanon. That journalist, Terry Anderson, would spend the next almost seven years in captivity. He survived the ordeal and wrote his story for the world to read. This hero has now passed away at the age of 76.

Terry A. Anderson was born in October 1947 in Lorain, Ohio, and grew up in Batavia, New York. He served as a combat journalist in the US Marine Corps for six years during the Vietnam War.

After leaving the military, Anderson worked as a reporter and photographer for KRNT in Iowa while getting degrees in journalism and political science from Iowa State. His career led him to take a job with The Associated Press, where he took on the role of chief Middle East correspondent headquartered in Lebanon in 1983.

On March 16, 1985, Anderson was kidnapped off the street in Beirut, Lebanon, by Hezbollah Shite Muslims. While several other Americans and Western dignitaries went missing around the same time, Anderson was held the longest. His captivity lasted six years and nine months. During that period, Anderson was moved several times and kept chained to a chair blindfolded much of the time. Claiming he “almost went insane,” he credits fellow captives and his Catholic faith for helping him make it through the ordeal.

Attempts to free Anderson and others, including the efforts related to the Iran-Contra affair, failed to secure the release of any of the hostages. He was eventually released in December 1991.

Anderson’s daughter, Sulome Anderson, who was born three months after his capture, said of her father, “I know he would choose to be remembered not by his very worst experience, but through his humanitarian work with the Vietnam Children’s Fund…and many other incredible causes.”

Anderson died of apparent complications from heart surgery. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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