Terry Anderson, U.S. Reporter Held Hostage for Almost 7 Years in Lebanon, Dead at 76

When asked if he had any items left on his bucket list just last week, Anderson reportedly told loved ones, "I’ve lived so much and I’ve done so much. I’m content"

<p>Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty</p> Terry Anderson at a press conference in 1991 following his release

Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty

Terry Anderson at a press conference in 1991 following his release

Terry Anderson, the American journalist held captive in Lebanon for almost seven years during the Lebanese Civil War, has died. He was 76.

Anderson, formerly the chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, died at his home in Greenwood Lake, New York, his daughter Sulome announced on Sunday, April 21, in a statement obtained by both the AP and Reuters.

Sulome — who was born just three months after her father was seized from the streets of Lebanon — told the AP that Anderson died of complications from a recent heart surgery. The family is currently organizing a memorial.

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Anderson was held captive by Islamic militants from March 1985 to December 1991, becoming one of America’s longest-held hostages, per the AP. He had been reporting on the rising violence in Lebanon for several years prior to his capture.

On March 16, 1985, he was dropping another AP employee, photographer Don Mell, off at home after a game of tennis when his kidnappers, members of the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah, dragged him away from his car.

He told the story of his capture and imprisonment in his critically acclaimed 1993 memoir Den of Lions: A Startling Memoir of Survival and Triumph.

Reflecting on Anderson's time at the AP, Louis D. Boccardi, who was the outlet’s president and chief executive officer at the time of the kidnapping, said, “The word ‘hero’ gets tossed around a lot but applying it to Terry Anderson just enhances it.”

“His six-and-a-half-year ordeal as a hostage of terrorists was as unimaginable as it was real — chains, being transported from hiding place to hiding place strapped to the chassis of a truck, given often inedible food, cut off from the world he reported on with such skill and caring,” Boccardi told the AP.

<p>Patrick PIEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty</p> Terry Anderson

Patrick PIEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Terry Anderson

“Terry was deeply committed to on-the-ground eyewitness reporting and demonstrated great bravery and resolve, both in his journalism and during his years held hostage,” said Julie Pace, the current senior vice president and executive editor of the AP.

"We are so appreciative of the sacrifices he and his family made as the result of his work,” Pace added.

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Following his 1991 return to the United States, Terry spent time giving public speeches and teaching journalism at universities, per the AP. He taught at Columbia University, Ohio University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida, and retired in 2015, Reuters reports.

At different times, the former chief Middle East correspondent also operated various restaurants and a horse ranch, according to the AP.

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"Though my father's life was marked by extreme suffering during his time as a hostage in captivity, he found a quiet, comfortable peace in recent years,” Sulome told Reuters. “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.”

Speaking with the AP, Sulome also noted that her father “never liked to be called a hero, but that’s what everyone persisted in calling him.”

“I saw him a week ago and my partner asked him if he had anything on his bucket list, anything that he wanted to do,” she told the outlet. “He said, ‘I’ve lived so much and I’ve done so much. I’m content.’”

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