Luke Somers is being remembered as a man with "wanderlust," drawn to new experiences.
The 33-year-old American was killed during a rescue attempt against his al-Qaida captors in Yemen, where he had been working as a freelance photographer and editor until his kidnapping in September 2013. Somers started teaching English at a school in Yemen but quickly established himself as a one of the few foreign photographers in the country.
Somers earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing at Beloit College in Wisconsin. The chairman of the school's journalism program says Somers "really wanted to understand the world." Shawn Gillen says Somers traveled to Egypt as part of the school's study abroad program and was drawn to "places where world events were happening."
Before her brother's death, Lucy Somers released an online video describing him as a romantic who "always believes the best in people." She ended with the plea: "Please let him live."
In a statement, Somers' father, Michael, called his son "a good friend of Yemen and the Yemeni people."
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