AP Journalist and Former Hostage Passes Away at Age 76

(RepublicanNews.org) – A longtime journalist for the Associated Press (AP) who once spent nearly seven years as a hostage in Lebanon has died after a career spanning several decades.

Terry Anderson, who was captured and held hostage for almost seven years in Lebanon during a raging civil war, is dead at the age of 76. He was AP’s chief Middle East correspondent at the time of his capture in 1985 by Islamic militants as part of what later became known as the “Lebanon hostage crisis.”

The crisis spanned over a decade, from 1982 to 1992, during which 104 foreign hostages were captured and held captive at the height of the Lebanese Civil War. Most of the captives were Americans and Western Europeans, although they came from 21 different nations. Eight of them died in captivity, some of them were killed, and others perished from illness and lack of medical attention. Anderson was abducted on March 16th, 1985, in Beirut, and wasn’t freed until Dec. 4th, 1991, after 1,763 days in captivity.

Anderson became a journalism professor after his release and went on to teach at various colleges and universities, including Columbia University until his retirement in 2015. He also wrote an autobiography about his time as a hostage.

Anderson survived the ordeal and, according to his daughter, Sulome Anderson, also managed to find “a quiet, comfortable, peace in recent years” before his death at his residence in Greenwood Lake, New York on Sunday, April 21st, despite a life “marked by extreme suffering.” She added that her father “never liked to be called a hero” even though others “persisted” in referring to him as one.

Sulome said she believes her father would prefer to be remembered for his “humanitarian work” rather than “his very worst experience.” She noted Anderson’s work with the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Vietnam Children’s Fund, and other “incredible causes,” such as helping homeless veterans. Sulome did not meet her father until his release when she was six years old.

The head of AP at the time of Anderson’s captivity, Louis Boccardi, called the journalist a hero, a word he says “gets tossed around a lot” but is only enhanced when applied to Anderson.

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