By Jamshid S. Irani, Esq. (for The Voice of Iranian-Americans)
Louisa Livingston Kennedy, the wife
of a senior American official held captive during the Iranian hostage crisis,
who became a highly visible spokeswoman for the hostages' families, died on Aug.
The cause was brain cancer, said her husband, Moorhead C. Kennedy.
I interviewed Mr. Kennedy in a
television program in 1987 in which he was grateful for Iranian hospitality and
remorseful for what triggered the hostage taking incident. Mr. Kennedy, a
soft-spoken person and well-liked by many as well as an outspoken diplomat after
his release, conveyed to me that there was no winner as a result of the hostage
taking episode in Iran and that human beings, regardless of their belief and
place of birth, should be respected and treated with dignity. Mr. Kennedy, the
third-ranking diplomat at the United States Embassy in
A founder and the official
spokeswoman of the Family Liaison Action Group, known as FLAG, Ms. Kennedy
helped ensure that the plight of the hostages remained in the forefront of
international consciousness. She appeared frequently on television and in
newspaper interviews and met with senior
Observers remarked often on Ms. Kennedy's articulate composure as she faced television cameras day after day.
"As one goes through this, you learn to cope," she told The Washington Post in the fall of 1980, as the first anniversary of the crisis neared. "You become inured."
Louisa Livingston was born in
Ms. Livingston studied theater. She
left after three years to marry Mr. Kennedy, in 1955. She accompanied him to
On the family's return to
In addition to her husband, who is known as Mike, Ms. Kennedy is survived by their four sons, Moorhead C. III, known as Mark, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Philip Livingston, of Madison, Conn.; Andrew M., of Washington; and Duncan R., of San Francisco; two sisters, Lorna M. Livingston of Manhattan and Linda L. Houghton of Washington; a half-brother, Goodhue Livingston III of Seattle; and six grandchildren. She, too, played a role in the Iranian hostage episode. Looking back at the events of 30 years ago, one wonders why people act the way they do when, in retrospect, history is there to learn from.
In a television interview broadcast on Christmas Day in 1980, Ms. Kennedy quoted four lines from Shakespeare's "Othello" that she said summed up her feelings toward her husband's captors:
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on. ...
The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
... Payvand News - 8/29/07 ... --