Terry Anderson: US Journalist who was held Captive in Lebanon for years,dies at age 76

Terry Anderson, a US journalist who spent almost seven years as a hostage during the civil war in Lebanon, passed away at the age of 76.

When he was taken prisoner by Islamist extremists in 1985 during what became known as the Lebanon hostage crisis, Anderson was the lead Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press.

According to his daughter, he passed away on Sunday at his Greenwood Lake, New York, home.

After the event, Sulome Anderson claimed to have found serenity in recent years.

“He never liked to be called a hero, but that’s what everyone persisted in calling him,” she continued.

“Despite the tremendous agony he endured as a hostage in captivity, my father has recently found a quiet, contented serenity in his life.

“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, the Committee to Protect Journalists, homeless veterans and many other incredible causes.”

Some who regarded Anderson as a “hero” during his incarceration included Louis Boccardi, the head of the Associated Press.

“The word ‘hero’ gets tossed around a lot but applying it to Terry Anderson just enhances it,” remarked Boccardi.

Anderson was kidnapped on March 16, 1985, in Beirut. After he finished his tennis match, he was pulled into a car by gunmen who then drove off.

His sister Peggy Say, who passed away in 2015, fought tenaciously to free her brother and the other prisoners.

Most of the more than 100 people detained between 1982 and 1992 were from the US and western Europe, including Terry Waite, the ambassador of the Church of England, who was kidnapped by the gang holding Anderson when talks broke down on January 20, 1987. In 1991, Waite was set free following 1,763 days.

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Waite endured beatings, mock executions, solitary incarceration, and being chained to a radiator for a significant portion of the ordeal. News from the outer world was relayed via Anderson.

When the American Civil War came to an end in 1991, Anderson was finally freed. His daughter was born soon after he was kidnapped, and he first saw her when she was six years old.

Following his release, Anderson worked as a journalism professor at a number of US universities, most notably Columbia University in New York, before retiring in 2015.

He also chronicled his period in captivity in his best-selling memoirs, Den of Lions.

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