Remembering Greenlee alumnus Terry Anderson

CATEGORIES: Alumni, In the News, News
Terry Anderson. (Screenshot from video by Michael Bugeja)
Terry Anderson. (Screenshot from video by Michael Bugeja)

Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication alumnus Terry Anderson has died at the age of 76.

A 1974 graduate of Iowa State University and a former reporter for the Iowa State Daily, Anderson was abducted in Lebanon while working as an Associated Press correspondent in 1985 and held captive for seven years. Upon his return to the United States, he formed a friendship with Michael Bugeja, distinguished professor, and former director of the Greenlee School.

Bugeja created of video complied from personal interviews with Anderson and shares the following in his memory:

“I, like the rest of the world, learned about what happened to Terry when he was kidnapped by Shiite Muslims in Lebanon in 1985. He remained a hostage for 2,454 days, almost seven years, suffering all manner of torture, mentally and physically.

Upon his release at a press conference, Terry disclosed that he wrote poetry. He composed verse in his head, memorizing his lines so that one day, when freed, he would quickly write it down before forgetting.

At the time I was teaching at the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Terry contacted me about any teaching openings in journalism. I said, ‘Come to Ohio University,’ and he did.

Our friendship grew fonder from then on, and we considered ourselves journalism brothers.

In the featured video clips, included in the below YouTube link, Terry talks about being a journalist, being a hostage, and how poetry kindled our friendship. His words echo in my memory and his friendship in my heart.

Here’s the link:”

Anderson was awarded Iowa State University’s highest honor for service to the journalism profession, the James W. Schwartz Award, in 1987 and was a featured speaker at the Greenlee School’s First Amendment Day in 2004.

Additional links about Anderson and his life are listed below and will be updated throughout the day.

Associated Press: Terry Anderson, AP reporter abducted in Lebanon and held captive for years, has died at 76

New York Times: Terry Anderson, Reporter Held Hostage for Six Years, Dies at 76

Iowa Capital Dispatch: Terry Anderson, journalist and former hostage, was also a poet and a friend