There is still a lot to sort through regarding the recent attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. What we do know is, four people are dead, all of them Americans. U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, both former Navy SEALS, all died in the attack.
J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya
Stevens devoted his life to a career in international relations. Before serving as ambassador in Libya, Stevens held several positions in the Foreign Service. Stevens spoke Arabic and French, and friends say he loved Libya and the Libyan people, and was passionate about getting to know people and completing meaningful work in the field. During the Libyan uprising last year that eventually overthrew Moammar Gadhafi, Stevens served as the U.S. envoy to the rebel movement.
His affinity for the Middle East was sparked when Stevens traveled to Morocco with the Peace Corps in 1983. He spent two years in the area, and said he "quickly grew to love this part of the world."
Stevens, 52, is the first US ambassador since 1979 to be killed in the line of duty.
In an address Wednesday, President Obama called Stevens and his fallen colleagues "the very best of the United States of America."
"Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi," Obama said. "His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice."
Sean Smith, Foreign Service Information Officer
Smith was a 10-year veteran of the State Department, and a married father of two. According to online accounts, Smith was an avid member of online gaming communities, including EVE Online, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game. A recent post on one of the EVE community's blogs mourns Smith's passing.
"If you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by [Smith's] talent as a diplomat," it reads. "It seems kind of trivial to praise a husband, father, and overall bada-- for his skills in an internet spaceship game but that's how most of us know him, so there you go."
Glen Doherty, Former Navy SEAL (pictured above)
Doherty, 42, was working for a private company when he was killed in the attack, but he spent nine years as a Navy SEAL. He even co-authored a book in 2010 titled, "Navy SEAL Sniper: An Intimate Look at the Sniper of the 21st Century." Friends describe Doherty's life as one "filled with adrenaline." In 2003, Doherty was positioned as a sniper atop a nearby roof during the now-infamous rescue of Army Private Jessica Lynch.
Aside from serving in Afghanistan and Iraq during his time in the Navy, Doherty was also proficient in many sports, and spent time as a ski instructor in Utah. Ultimately, his family says he was a professional, good at his job and conscientious about his position. "You have to understand. Glen was highly trained. He was the best of the best. He wouldn’t have gone down for some protest over a movie," Doherty's sister Kate Quigley told the Boston Globe. "This was serious, well-planned, well-executed. He was very good at what he did."
"He was amazing,’’ She continued. “He was a hero.’’
Tyrone S. Woods, Former Navy SEAL
Woods served as a Navy SEAL for two decades before retiring and beginning a career with independent contractors in 2010. During his time in the Navy, he completed multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and after leaving the Navy, he protected diplomatic personnel in several parts of the world.
Friends say Woods, a native of California, was a lifelong action-seeker who joined the Navy straight out of high school and never looked back.
"He was like a guy out of the movies. He was on the edge. He was always volunteering for the mission," Woods' former brother-in-law said. "He always wanted to be on the front line. Everything was full speed."
In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Woods had "the hands of a healer as well as the arm of a warrior." He is survived by his wife and three sons.
Here is a video memorializing Ambassador Stevens: