was born on 18th October 1973 in Evanston, Illinois, in the United States of America. He was an American Journalist and was the first US citizen to be killed by the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in 2014, after being kidnapped two years ago, while coming out of an internet café in the northwest region of Syria.
He was on his way to the Turkish border along with his translator and another British Reporter John Cantile. Before being a member of the press, Foley worked as a teacher in Arizona, Illinois, and Massachusetts under the “Teach For America” program. He started as a reporter for the USAID-funded ‘Tatweer’ project in 2008 in Baghdad. He then shifted to Afghanistan and became a freelance correspondent under the military embed-journalist accommodation status.
He was eradicated from his job after getting caught with the suspicion of using and possessing marijuana. He was then working for the newspaper “Stars and Stripes” in Afghanistan. Later in 2011, he was sent to cover the dethronement of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya from his then-employer GlobalPost which is a Boston-based newspaper company. On April 5, 2011, Foley, along with three others were attacked and abducted by Gaddafi men in the town of Brega. They lost one of their fellow reporter Anton Hammerl in the conflict.
He was released and sent home after 44 days in captivation. This episode couldn’t break him however as he returned to Libya to be there at the scene of Gaddafi’s capture and see it with his own eyes. His will of filming and reporting the conditions of people suffering in the war-torn places led him to Syria in the middle of Syrian Cold War. He was then working as a freelancer for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse.
His bad luck caught up with him though as he was again captured on 22nd November 2012, this time by a military group called Shabiha which was loyal to the Syrian President Bashar Assad. For the better part of next year, he was held captive in Damascus in a Syrian Air Force Intelligence complex while talks of negotiations went through between the captors, Foley’s family, GlobalPost and the United States of America. The Captors demanded around 130 million dollars for the release of Foley.
Tensions kept on rising as the government tried to negotiate with the kidnappers, even an international security firm called Kroll Inc. was hired by GlobalPost to find the location of Foley and possible rescue. Barack Obama sent numerous rescue teams for Foley and other hostages but was unable to free anyone.
Foley’s parents received an email from the abductors on 12th August saying that they will “avenge” the air strikes on Iraq ordered by Obama by killing Foley and the only way to save him was to stop the strikes and pay the ransom amount. He was eventually beheaded on August 19. The whole ordeal was recorded and posted on YouTube before it was taken down.
ISIS then demanded one million US dollars for returning the headless body of Foley to his family. Since his death, Foley has left a legacy behind him. His family started a James W. Foley Legacy Fund. The students of Lowell Elementary and Marquette University also started a scholarship in his name. The renowned Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik also created a sand sculpture of Foley in the Puri sea beach using four tons of sand.
Another Version Of Bio:
James Foley, whose full name was James Wright Foley, was a journalist and reporter of American descent. He was born on October 18, 1973, in Evanston, Illinois into a Catholic family. John and Diane Foley were the names of his parents. James had four siblings named Michael, Mark, John Jr., and Katie. He was the eldest of the lot. His parents were the natives of Rochester, New Hampshire. Although James was born in Evanston, he spent his childhood in Wolfeboro. James went to Kingswood Regional High School, Marquette University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Medill School of Journalism, a branch of Northwestern University.
In the beginning, he bagged the job of teaching at Teach For America and taught at Illinois, Arizona, and Massachusetts. Later, James shifted towards journalism. In 2008, he worked for Tatweer, a USAID sponsored development project in Baghdad. James also helped in creating seminars and conferences to rebuild the civil service of Iraq. Two years later, he decided to focus on the issues in Afghanistan and hence started working as a reporter for the US military, who were engaged in war there.
In 2011, Stars and Stripes hired James to work on an assignment. However, they removed him after just two years as the military unit of United States of America labouring at the Kandahar Air Field arrested him because they suspected him to be in possession of drugs. In the same year, James started working for Global Post, an online portal of Boston, and he traveled to Libya to capture the citizens' protest against Muammar Gaddafi.
On April 5, the loyalist of Gaddafi ambushed and kidnapped him and two other colleagues of his. The concerned authorities ensured his safe return. This experience didn't hamper his enthusiasm and passion for his profession, and he continued covering the Civil War of Syria for Global Post, Agence France-Presse, and others.
In Syria, a gang abducted him and held him in the complex of Syrian Air Force Intelligence. James' captors demanded hundred million euros in ransom from his family and country. America launched a rescue operation, but his kidnappers changed locations frequently which made it difficult for the officials to find him. On August 19, 2014, ISIS uploaded a video of a man with black clothes beheading James, on a social video-sharing portal. His family accepted the authenticity of his death's news. America commenced an investigation to find the perpetrators of the heinous crimes.
In the memory of James, his family has named a Legacy Fund after him. Marquette University also established a scholarship named James Foley Scholarship.