Famed ‘Hostage’ Has Died

(TheIndependentStar.com) – Terry Anderson, an American reporter who was held captive by Islamic militants for nearly seven years in Lebanon during the country’s civil war from 1975 to 1990, died at the age of 76.

His daughter, Sulome Anderson, stated that her father, the former Chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, died at his home in Greenwood Lake, New York. However, she did not specify the cause of death.

Anderson was the longest held among the many Westerners kidnapped in Lebanon.

During his captivity, important Shia Muslim groups confined Anderson in obscurely lit cells, and he was often restrained by chains and blindfolded.

He once mentioned that he nearly lost his sanity and credited his Catholic faith for preventing him from taking his own life until his release in December 1991.

Reflecting on her father’s life, Sulome Anderson highlighted his humanitarian efforts with various organizations after his release, including the Vietnam Children’s Fund and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Terry Anderson’s ordeal began on March 16, 1985, in Beirut after a tennis game when gunmen abducted him into a green Mercedes sedan. The pro-Iran Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for his kidnapping and demanded the release of Shia Muslims imprisoned in Kuwait.

During his nearly seven years in captivity, Anderson endured harsh conditions, often poorly fed and housed in cells beneath the damaged streets of Beirut. His father and brother died during this time, and he did not see his daughter until she was six years old.

After his release, Anderson expressed gratitude for the companionship of fellow hostages, his faith, and his determination to endure each day.

He maintained his resilience by learning languages and exercising regularly, but as recounted by fellow captives, he also suffered moments of despair and frustration.

Former cellmate Marcel Fontaine recalled Anderson’s optimism when allowed to see sunlight or eat a hamburger, only to face disappointment when his hopes of freedom were dashed.

Anderson’s sister, Peggy Say, played a pivotal role in advocating for his release, which engaged with various authorities and leaders worldwide.

Despite efforts by the Reagan administration, which included covert dealings like the Iran-Contra affair, to secure the hostages’ release, Anderson remained in captivity until 1991.

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