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Captive In The Iran Hostage Crisis Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr. Dies At 93



Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr., a captive in the Iranian hostage crisis under President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, has reportedly died at the age of 93. The Iranian hostage crisis is being a large contributor to the downfall of Carter’s Presidency, and the election of Ronald Reagan.

Kennedy Jr. was taken from his second-floor office of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1979. He reportedly died on May 3rd, 2024.

Taken hostage in 1979, Kennedy Jr. would not be released until President Ronald Reagan successfully got him released upon taking office in 1981.

BangorDaily reports on his death,

Kennedy said he expected the situation to be resolved quickly through diplomatic negotiations, but as it dragged on it became a major issue in national and international politics. A failed U.S rescue attempt in April 1980 made things worse, and is considered a significant factor in President Jimmy Carter’s loss in the election later that year to Ronald Reagan.

Following the release of Kennedy and 51 other American hostages in January 1981, after Reagan was sworn in as the new president, Kennedy resigned from the State Department and became an author and an educator.

In 2012, Kennedy publicly backed federal legislation that would allow the former hostages to seek monetary compensation for their ordeal.

The agreement between the U.S. and Iran that released the hostages explicitly prohibited them or their families from seeking such compensation, but Kennedy argued that victims of other acts of state-sponsored terrorism have been allowed to sue the governments responsible in international court and have been compensated.

Kennedy and his family stood to gain millions of dollars in compensation, but he said the money was not as important as receiving official recognition and justice for the trauma he and other hostages experienced.


Kennedy described nightmares that he continually had about being held hostage in Iran. It truly is amazing that this many years later, in 2024, the threat of Iran still looms large over the American people.

The former hostage is survived by four sons and eight grandchildren.

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