Terry Anderson, AP Journalist Once Abducted in Lebanon For Years, Dies at 76

The Associated Press foreign correspondent who was taken hostage by Hezbollah in 1985 and held captive for nearly seven years passed away on April 21 at the age of 76.

Terry Anderson, whose 1993 memoir “Den of Lions” recounted his terrifying ordeal, died at his Greenwood Lake home in New York from complications following heart surgery, according to his daughter Sulome Anderson.

Anderson was working as the Associated Press Middle East correspondent in 1985 reporting from war-torn Lebanon when on March 16, he was abducted by members of Hezbollah as he was dropping his photographer off at his home. The gun-wielding Islamic militants dragged Anderson from his vehicle and held him hostage. For nearly seven years, Anderson endured beatings, torture, and abuse. His captors kept him in solitary confinement for long periods and frequently threatened to kill him.

Anderson returned to the United States in 1991, suffering from post-traumatic stress. He taught journalism at several universities until 2015. In addition to teaching, Anderson also operated a gourmet restaurant, a blues bar, a Cajun restaurant, and a horse ranch.

After a federal court determined that Iran played a part in his abduction and imprisonment, Anderson won millions in frozen assets which he mostly lost on bad investments before filing for bankruptcy in 2009.

Associated Press executive editor Julie Pace said Anderson was “deeply committed to on-the-ground eyewitness reporting.” She said both his reporting and his years in captivity demonstrated his “bravery and resolve.”

His daughter Sulome said her father didn’t like it when everyone called him a hero. She said when she had asked him the week before his death if there was anyone on his “bucket list” that he wanted to do, her father said he had already lived and done so much that he was content.

After he retired from teaching in 2015, Anderson relocated to rural northern Virginia and settled on a horse farm.