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Bruce van Voorst, a long-time correspondent for Newsweek and Time Magazine, died on December 9, 2013, as the result of complications from a fall. He was 81.
During his 35-year journalism career he covered a wide spectrum of international issues, spending some 22 years overseas on assignments from Bonn to Beirut, Brussels to Buenos Aires. He reported on the Gulf War, various Mid-east wars, the Cyprus fighting, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Polish revolution, among many others. In 1979, he was aboard the aircraft returning Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran from Paris, and reported on-scene the violent revolution and later hostage-taking. A week after interviewing Khomeini for Time's Man of the Year cover he was expelled from Iran on charges of being with the CIA.
He served as both Diplomatic Correspondent for Newsweek (which included traveling full time for three years with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) and Senior Correspondent for National Security at Time, the latter assignment including the Pentagon and State Departments as well as the Central Intelligence Agency. He met or interviewed many of the leading world figures of our time, from Germany's Willy Brandt to China's Chou En Lai.
In the early 1990's, he made frequent appearances on PBS' MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.
In his retirement he became an accomplished watercolorist, selling a number of his paintings. He also undertook intense and diverse intellectual pursuits ranging from an in-depth study of the Book of Job to current scientific developments in nano-techonology and robotics. He and his wife, Barbara, traveled extensively.
Born in Holland, he graduated from Hope College and earned a Masters Degree from the
University of Michigan
. In 1991, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Hope College.
His first marriage to the late Marilyn van Voorst ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara van Voorst of Arlington, VA; son, Mark van Voorst of NY; and daughters, Amb. Carol van Voorst of Arlington, VA, Kathryn Marchmont-Robinson of LaGrange Highlands, IL, and Susan Prins of Holland; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sister, Mary Bloemers.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, or a
Published in The Holland Sentinel on Dec. 11, 2013
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