The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A woman for any year

Kathryn Koob uses her hostage experience to help people plan to cope

It's been 23 years since Kathryn Koob and the 51 other hostages were released from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran. But what Koob experienced during those 444 days as a hostage has been invaluable to the thousands who work or serve overseas and live in fear of terrorist threats.

Besides having taught a course called "Reconciliation" at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, Koob gives presentations internationally about terrorism and its far-reaching effects.

For her continued efforts, the American Legion Auxiliary in 2002 named Koob Woman of the Year. The auxiliary, founded in 1919, supports America's veterans and their families.

With an increase in fear over terrorist attacks on Americans, Koob, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Waverly, helps overseas workers and their families plan for the worst possibility. "You have to think about practical things, such as are you going to talk to the press, and if so, who is the spokesperson for the family," she said. "There are many situations that might occur and it's best to talk about them when you can do so rationally."

Koob also is called upon to discuss the psychology of Iranians in certain current situations, such as a recent plane crash in Iran, which some Iranian reports blamed on America's continued sanctions.

Despite the hardship of being held captive, Koob said that period in her life strengthened her faith — a message that she never tires of sharing. "We are in a difficult time where there is much fear," she said. "I would ask people to go on with their lives trusting that God will care for them, to respect the rights of others who have a different view, and to honor the men and women who are serving our country."


Matthew Coulson

Matthew Coulson

Posted at 6:59 pm (U.S. Eastern) 10/8/2007

Does anyone know how to get a hold of Kathryn Koob. I am a high school student and am doing a project on the Iranian Hostage Crisis and am trying to get in contact with and survivors.

Chuck Lynch

Chuck Lynch

Posted at 7:31 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/11/2009

Kathryn Koob is a relative of mine and with whom I would lilke to make contact re: common relatives by the name of Koob who owned and published the newspaper in Cherokee, IA for a period between  the mid-1800's and the mid-1900's.

Thank you and God Bless.

 Chuck Lynch


Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

March issue

MARCH issue:

All are welcome