Skip to main content

Terry Anderson: No. 7 in "What Made Genesee County Famous"

By Philip Anselmo

Clocking in at No. 7 in the Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous is Terry Anderson, America's longest-held hostage in the Middle East, whose release set off a media blitz upon the city of Batavia, the likes of which Genesee County had never seen.

Holland Land Office Museum Director Pat Weissend:

On March 16, 1985, former Batavia resident Terry Anderson had just finished a game of tennis in Beirut, Lebanon when three gunmen pulled up in a green Mercedes and kidnapped him. This was day one in a 2,454 day ordeal that captivated the City of Batavia, Genesee County, the United States and the world.


His captors were a group of Shiite Muslims. During his captivity, Anderson was tortured and beaten. He didn’t know from one day to the next if he would be released or killed. He turned to the Bible for peace and wrote poetry.

After being imprisoned for nearly seven years, Anderson was released on December 4, 1991. After his release he spent a few days in a hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany before returning to the United States. 

For more on Terry Anderson, visit the museum's Web site.

In a side note: This terra cotta sculpture here of Anderson was dropped off at the Holland Land Office Museum last week and should be up on display for folks who want to check it out up close.

scott rytlewski

god bless terry for all he had to go thru. but just maybe a note some people didnt know he was born and lived most of his younger years in Albion

Dec 1, 2008, 1:41pm Permalink
Russ Stresing

Terry Anderson might be better remembered for his life aside from his captivity. He is a combat veteran and an accomplished journalist. He is an advocate for freedom of the press issues. He co-founded the the Vietnam Children's Fund.

To me, his captivity was something he was forced to endure. He shouldn't be lauded for this unfortunate accident of fate as much as he should be admired for how much he hasn't allowed it to define him.

Dec 1, 2008, 7:05pm Permalink

Authentically Local