Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was praised by President Barack Obama as a man who gave his life trying to bring democracy to a turbulent country. "It is especially tragic that he died in Benghazi because it is a city he helped to save at the height of the revolution," Obama said. Stevens, 52, was a 21-year State Department employee who spent most of his diplomatic career in the Middle East. He first served in Libya from 2007 to 2009, then returned during the early 2011 uprising against Moammar Khaddafy when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked him to act as an envoy to the rebel opposition. Stevens left Libya last November but returned in May after Clinton appointed him ambassador to the new democratic government. He said in his State Department biography that he considered himself "fortunate to participate in this incredible period of change and hope for Libya." Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador killed in an attack since 1979.