‘Great bravery and resolve.’ Reaction to the death of Terry Anderson, AP reporter held hostage


A courageous correspondent who reported from the world’s trouble spots. A supporter of humanitarian causes. A good friend.

Those were among the reactions to the death of Terry Anderson, the former chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press. Anderson was one of America’s longest-held hostages after he was abducted from Lebanon in 1985 and held for almost seven years. Anderson, 76, died Sunday in Greenwood Lake, New York, of complications from recent heart surgery.


“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. We are so appreciative of the sacrifices he and his family made as the result of his work.” – Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor of the AP.

“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.” – Louis D. Boccardi, the president and chief executive officer of the AP at the time of Anderson’s captivity.

“He never liked to be called a hero, but that’s what everyone persisted in calling him.” – Sulome Anderson, daughter. “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. 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.”

“Our relationship was much broader and deeper, and more important and meaningful, than just that one incident,” Don Mell, former AP photographer who was with Anderson when gun-toting kidnappers dragged him from his car in Lebanon.

“Through his life and his work, Terry Anderson reminded us that journalism is a dangerous business, and foreign correspondents, in particular, take great personal risk to keep the public informed. … For many years, Mr. Anderson had the distinction of being the longest held U.S. journalist hostage. He lived to see that unfortunate record eclipsed by journalist Austin Tice, currently held in Syria for nearly 12 years. When Anderson was kidnapped, the Press Club flew a banner across its building to remind journalists and the public of his plight. Similarly the Club now has a banner for Austin Tice.” – statement of the National Press Club.

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