Chris Stevens, Slain Ambassador to Libya, Was East Bay Native
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who died during an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, was an East Bay native.
Stevens' parents are steeped in the local classical music community. His mother, Mary Commanday, was a cellist for the Marin Symphony.
His stepfather, Robert Commanday, was for many years the San Francisco Chronicle's chief music critic and founded the website San Francisco Classical Voice.
Chris Stevens graduated from Piedmont High School, UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
In a statement, Hastings Chancellor Frank Wu said, "The ambassador was performing the highest role that a lawyer is called upon to perform: public service."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had asked Stevens to serve as an envoy to the Libyan opposition movement last year.
"He arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi and began building our relationships with Libya’s revolutionaries," Clinton said. "He risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya."
The Benghazi attack coincided with protests against an anti-Muslim video produced by a Southern California real estate developer.
The producer, Sam Bacile, told the Associated Press he made the video as a statement against Islam, a religion he described as a "cancer".
The crude 14-minute video, posted on a YouTube account with Bacile's name, has a clear intent to denounce the prophet Muhammad.
Bacile says the movie has been screened once: in a Hollywood theater that was mostly empty.