An Odin man who was held hostage in the Iran Hostage crisis has died. Bruce Laingen was 96.

After being held hostage in Iran for 444 days, Bruce Laingen and 51 other Americans safely returned to the United States amid celebrations and parades.

But all Laingen, the U.S.’s top diplomat in Iran, wanted back in January 1981 was to reconnect with the small farming community in southern Minnesota, where his heart was rooted.

Laingen, who lived most of his adult life in Bethesda, Md., died Monday at age 96. Memorial services will be held later this summer in his hometown of Odin, about 125 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

Although his career in the Foreign Service spanned 38 years, many Minnesotans best remember Laingen as one of the Americans taken hostage when radical Iranian students took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.