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John McCarthy

Former Beirut Hostage, Journalist and Author

In 1986, John McCarthy was on his first foreign assignment to Beirut. He was snatched at gunpoint from his car and held hostage for 5 years (1,943 days). His is an extraordinary story of courage, despair, hope and finally happiness. John's release was the first in a series in 1991 which resulted in freedom for nearly all the Westerners held captive in Lebanon.

"Sometimes I did look over the parapet of fear - and down into terror itself"

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In detail

Public expectations of a re-kindling of the romance between John McCarthy and former fiancée Jill Morrell who had campaigned for his release were high. The couple wrote a book together about Mr McCarthy's ordeal but they separated amicably in 1994. John McCarthy married Anna Ottewill in April 1999.

What he offers you

John motivates audiences as he recounts in details his experiences in captivity and the lessons to be learned from them. John carefully explains how business can benefit from his inspirational message.

How he presents

Humility and optimism are the characteristics that set John McCarthy apart. A writer and speaker of considerable skill, John is a man with a story worth telling whose powers of description are perfect for transporting audiences to the physical and mental landscapes of his story.


He presents in English.

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Give us a call or send us an e-mail to find out exactly what he could bring to your event.

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  • John's Experiences in Captivity in Beirut
  • Motivation
  • The Will to Succeed


  • 2003
    A Ghost Upon Your Path
  • 2001
    Between Extremes: A Journey Beyond Imagination (With Brian Keenan)
  • 1994
    Some Other Rainbow (With Jill Morell)

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