Gerald LaBelle, former AP Middle East editor, dead at 76

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerald LaBelle, a former Associated Press correspondent who spent years covering tumultuous events in the Middle East including Lebanon's civil war, has died. He was 76.

LaBelle died early Monday at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York. His wife, Eileen Alt Powell, said he had pneumonia and had suffered for several years with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

After joining the AP in 1968, LaBelle was appointed news editor in Beirut in 1983.

While in Lebanon, he covered the deadly bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the kidnapping of his own boss, Terry Anderson.

LaBelle also reported from Jerusalem and Cairo. He worked as a news editor in the New York City bureau and other areas. He retired from the AP in 2009.