Man of the Iran Hostage Crisis, Ken Taylor, Has Died
His heroic acts in the 1979 “Canadian Caper” made him a hero. This Thursday, his son told CBC news that the man of the Iran hostage crisis, Ken Taylor, has died at the age of 81 years old. At the height of the joint covert rescue by the Canadian government and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), then Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, helped sheltered six U.S. citizens.
In November 1979, a group of Iranians took over the U.S. Embassy and held hostage most of the people inside. For three months these six Americans who were able to escape the hostage crisis hid at Taylor’s residence and at the home of John Sheardown, Taylor’s deputy at that time. Ken Taylor helped the Americans acquire their Canadian passports from the Ottawa government. Then they were able to get their plane tickets and eventually escaped the Tehran ordeal, all with the help of Ken Taylor.
Ben Affleck’s blockbuster movie Argo in 2012 depicted Taylor’s exploits in the Iran hostage crisis. However, Taylor and even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter thought that the role of Canada in the operation was restrained in the movie. In the Toronto International Film Festival 2013, Taylor’s story was again told via a documentary entitled Our Man in Tehran.
According to his son Douglas Taylor, his father was diagnosed with colon cancer August of this year, but “took full advantage of the time he had left.” In an interview with CBC News, Douglas said it was a “sad day but a great life to celebrate.”
Taylor is survived by his wife Pat who was in his bedside until his last breath. His son, Douglas with wife Dana and two their children were also at the hospital when he passed away.
In a statement issued by U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, he said “Ambassador Taylor’s courageous actions exemplify the enduring nature of the special relationship between the United States and Canada.”