Terry Anderson, a native of Lorain, Ohio, who was freed after nearly seven years of captivity in the Middle East, presented Mount Union's spring Schooler Lecture on Tuesday, March 22, 1994.
Anderson spoke on "Den of Lions," which refers to his captivity and its effect on his life.
Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, has served as a living symbol of survival, courage and hope. He had been the head of the AP's Beirut bureau for nearly two years when, returning from a game of tennis on the morning of March 16, 1985, he was shoved into a green Mercedes by four armed men. Anderson then joined six Americans and Britons who had been taken hostage by Shiite Muslims in a year-long kidnapping spree.
During captivity, Anderson and his fellow hostages suffered beatings and were often chained to radiators, blindfolded, and hidden from sunlight. They rarely heard radio and knew only what their captors chose to tell them about the outside world.
Anderson kept himself as strong as possible throughout the captivity by doing sit-ups and calisthenics as best as his quarters allowed. He also exercised his mind by fantasizing about his life once he was freed, and by reading books such as the Bible, when they were provided by his captors.
Throughout his suffering, Anderson became a symbol for the outside world. His defiant endurance gave the world hope. Then, in the aftermath of the Gulf War, the delicate balance of power in the Middle East shifted. After 2,454 nights in captivity Terry Anderson was freed.
Upon his return, Anderson resigned from the AP, planning to become involved in politics. He also completed a book about his captivity: "Den of Lions."