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Reflections: In Memory of Journalist Jim Foley
By Karen Brewer, Publisher

James 'Jim' Foley, a journalist and a Christian who was murdered - beheaded- by ISIS terrorists on August 19, 2014, will always be remembered for his heroic life.

Paul D’Amours, a friend of Foley’s since childhood, told
The Boston Globe, “Regardless of the circumstances or who was involved, he always acted with kindness and compassion toward others. I think it’s safe to say that the world would be a better place if there were more people like Jim Foley in it."

Foley was born on October 18, 1973 in New Hampshire, the first of five children of John and Diane Foley. He majored in history at Marquette University and taught economically disadvantaged students at an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona, where staff members speak of “his kindness and his commitment to the students he taught.”

Drawn to writing, Foley returned to college and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

He then earned a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, Illinois, and, while in Chicago, he helped inmates learn to read and write.

“He had started writing fiction when at UMass,” his mother said, “but, the more he worked with the disadvantaged in Phoenix and Chicago, which he also was passionate about, he realized that the stories he wanted to tell were real stories – stories about people’s lives – and he saw journalism as a vehicle for talking about what’s really happening in the world.”

His former journalism professor, Stephan Garnett, said of Foley, “He had a very strong moral center about what was right and what was wrong.”

Charles Sennott, co-founder of Global Post, said, “Jim wanted to do work that mattered. He wanted to do work that made a difference.”

Foley was captured in 2012 and held for almost two years before being killed in August of 2014. He had been held captive in a war zone before, and, after having been released, he had recalled, “I’d pray to stay strong. I’d pray to soften the hearts of our captors. I’d pray for God to lift the burdens we couldn’t handle.”

After Foley’s death, Sennott said, “This is a deep reminder that there are journalists who are doing courageous work out there. We live in a cynical time, when there is a lot of criticism of the media. This is a time to remember that there are journalists like Jim Foley who are out there representing news organizations who really believe in what they’re doing and who are doing the best they can. They’re doing the best work they can to bring home the stories that matter, and I think that’s important to remember today."