L. Bruce van Voorst was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. He attended and graduated from Hope College in 1954. van Voorst worked as a journalist for both Time and Newsweek magazines and covered a wide spectrum of international issues, spending some twenty-two years overseas on assignments from Bonn, Germany, to Beirut, Lebanon, Brussels, Belgium to Buenos Aires, Brazil. He reported on the Gulf War, various Mideast wars, the Cyprus fighting, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Polish revolution, among many others.
In 1979, van Voorst was aboard the aircraft returning Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran from Paris, and reported on scene the violent revolution and later hostage-taking. A week after interviewing Khomeini for Time’s Man of the Year cover, he was expelled from Iran on charges of being with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He served both as a diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek (which included traveling full time for three years with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) and senior correspondent for National Security at Time, the latter assignment including the Pentagon and State Department as well as the CIA. He met or interviewed many of the leading world figures of our time, from Germany’s Willy Brandt to China’s Chou En Lai. In the early 1990s, he made frequent appearances on PBS’ MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.
In his retirement, van Voorst became an accomplished watercolorist, selling a number of his paintings. He also undertook intense and diverse intellectual pursuits, from an in-depth study of the Book of Job to current scientific developments in nanotechnology and robotics. He also traveled extensively with his wife, Barbara.
The Bruce van Voorst collection is comprised of his biographical information, correspondence with Dr. Paul Fried, Dr. Elton Bruins, and Dr. John Knapp, articles, book reviews, movie reviews, speeches written and given by van Voorst, including the 2004 address to his classmates at their 50th reunion at Hope College (audiotape, digital), and travel writings he created while traveling many countries with his wife, Barbara van Voorst, whose writing is also included.
Repository citation: Hope College, "H15-1894. van Voorst, L. Bruce (1932-2013). Papers, 1954-2015. 0.75 linear ft." (2016). Collection Registers and Abstracts. Paper 1207.
February 9, 2016.