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Rising to the challenge.

Our son James was murdered by ISIS in Syria on August 19th 2014. His life challenges us all to love and forgive one another, and to make this world a better place.

The James W. Foley Legacy Fund will honor what Jim stood for by focusing on 3 areas he was passionate about.

  •   building a resource center for families of American hostages and fostering a global dialog on governmental policies in hostage crises;
  •   supporting American journalists reporting from conflict zones and
  •   promoting quality educational opportunities for urban youth.

We will be rolling out important initiatives in the weeks ahead. Today you can support us with a donation and sign up for updates and news.

Jim did not die in vain. Please help us build on his memory.

-- Diane and John Foley

Our Goals.

Jim and his family, like many other U.S. hostages and their families, have experienced the devastating consequences of inconsistent, opaque, and unaccountable policies of governments in hostage situations.

We can do better than that.

The Fund will push for the discussion, development and coordination of policies that are consistent, transparent, and accountable to all American citizens held captive world-wide.

We will form a resource center and support network for US hostage families; foster an international dialogue to establish a standard world-wide policy for kidnapping prevention and resolution; support and voice the collective power of affected families in that dialogue; convene key stakeholders for coordination, dialogue, and action.

Photo: Jim working in Libya (Jon Cantlie/Getty Images).

Jim was an experienced conflict reporter having covered fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and finally Syria.

He was dedicated to the well-being of his colleagues having witnessed first hand in Libya how precarious such work can be. In Syria he worked tirelessly - and successfully - for the release of kidnapped colleagues before being kidnapped himself.

The Fund will support and collaborate with key partners such as Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters without Borders, Human Rights Watch, Ground Truth Project, and others.

After graduating from Marquette in 1996, Jim spent 4 years with Teach for America teaching in inner city Phoenix and coaching basketball to middle schoolers.

He believed passionately in the value of education and loved being around children.

The Fund will advance the right to education through financial support for Teach for America, Marquette University, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

James Foley, 1973 - 2014.

James Wright Foley was born on October 18, 1973 in Evanston, Illinois. He was the first born son of Diane and John Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire.

Jim grew up in the beautiful town of Wolfeboro, NH. He was the oldest of five children. After graduating from Kingswood High School in 1992, he chose to go to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At Marquette, he made life-long friends and was challenged to serve the voiceless. From 1996 to 2000, he served 4 years with Teach for America, teaching in inner city Phoenix, Arizona.

Jim was drawn to writing and completed an MFA program in writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2002. While in Massachusetts, he taught unwed mothers to help them achieve their GED and later in Chicago, taught English to inmates at the Cook County jail.

By becoming a conflict journalist, Jim was able to merge his interest in writing with his compassion for the poor, disadvantaged and suffering amid conflict. Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Illinois granted him this opportunity. He began in Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya and finally Syria. Jim was detained by Colonel Gadaffi’s Libyan regime in 2011 for 44 days; but finally released.

In January of 2012, Jim began what would be many trips in and out of northern Syria as a freelance photojournalist. He began cautiously, but then gained confidence as he met kind and hospitable Syrians, who offered him their generous hospitality. Jim was last home in October 2012 to visit and celebrate his birthday. Our last phone call with Jim was one week before he was kidnapped on 11/22/12 in northern Syria. Our family never heard his voice again.

Jim was murdered by ISIS on August 19, 2014 in the Raqqa region of Syria.



He is survived by his beloved maternal grandmother, Olga M. Wright, his parents, and his siblings Michael, John, Mark, and Kathryn Foley.

Three beloved nephews are Michael, Matthew, and Jack, and his niece, Rori. Other close family include Rita and Fernando Colina, Robert and Paula Foley, Martha and William Jackson, William and Sally Foley and 11 cousins.

He is pre-deceased by his cousin, Patrick and his paternal grandparents, John and Marilyn Foley of Plymouth, NH, and his maternal grandfather, Elliot A. Wright of Keene, NH.

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