Captive “Hero” Reporter Dead at 76 Years Old

( – Journalists have the important job of bringing the news to people around the world. Sometimes, however, the job can be extremely risky, particularly if they’re sent to war zones or dangerous territories. The Associated Press (AP) correspondent Terry Anderson, who became a household name after he was held hostage in Lebanon, is one such story. He recently passed away at the age of 76.

Anderson was born in Lorain, Ohio, on October 27, 1947. He moved to Western New York as a child. After graduating high school, he chose to forego college to enlist in the Marines, where he spent five years in Japan and Vietnam as a combat journalist. He would later go to college for journalism, earning degrees from Iowa State University. Anderson worked for the AP abroad in Japan and South Africa before he was assigned to a job in Lebanon.

Anderson was covering the war in Lebanon when he was captured by Islamic militants. He was dropping a co-worker off at his home on March 16, 1985, when his car door was wrenched open and he was taken. The Shia Hezbollah militants of the Islamic Jihad Organization, supported by Iran, would go on to beat Anderson, keep him chained up, and blindfold him. He was moved and held between South Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and Beirut for nearly seven years, and would be the last of 18 Western hostages released. He later sued Iran for damages and won around $26 million. He put some of the money to good use, establishing the Vietnam Children’s Fund that helped to establish schools in the country. The finances didn’t last long, though, as he filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

After his release in 1991, Anderson spoke of the ordeal, including how he was placed in solitary confinement for approximately a year, off and on. He also reconnected with his fiancee, who he married, and met his daughter, who was born three months after his kidnapping. Two years later, he wrote a book about his experience, titled “Den of Lions: Memoirs of Seven Years.” He would go on to acknowledge that the ordeal caused damage, “a great deal more than I was aware of,” per The New York Times.

Anderson died on Saturday, April 20, at home in Greenwood Lake, New York, after complications from heart surgery. He leaves behind two daughters, his brother, and sister.

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