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Kris Paronto

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Kris Paronto interviewed about 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, in 2016.

Kris "Tanto" Paronto (born circa 1971) is an American author and speaker. He is also former U.S. Army Ranger and previously worked as CIA security contractor.[1] Paronto is known for his actions while part of the CIA annex security team during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stephens and the CIA compound in Benghazi. Paronto co-authored 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, a novel covering the events of the attack. Michael Bay later adapted the novel into to a film starring Pablo Schreiber as Paronto. He is author of the 2017 self-improvement novel The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield.

Early life[edit]

Paronto was born in Alamosa, Colorado. His parents were educators and his mother taught his first-grade class. His father was a football coach and athletic director. Paronto played football, baseball and basketball. A football scholarship helped pay for his college degrees which include an associates, bachelor and master degrees.[2]

Military career[edit]

Paronto served four years as an Army Ranger[3] followed by four years in the National Guard. He reached the enlisted rank of Sergeant before receiving a commission in 2003.[2]

CIA security contractor and Benghazi attack[edit]

Paronto was a CIA private security contractor guarding the Benghazi, Libya CIA annex, during the 2012 Benghazi attack.[4][5] CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the attack along with the U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. After Benghazi, Paronto served as a security contractor in Yemen before leaving the CIA.[6]

Post CIA[edit]

Following his exit from the CIA, Paronto became an author and public speaker. After the U.S. captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah for his role in the Benghazi attack and brought him to the U.S., Paronto was critical of the decision made by the Obama Administration to have him tried before a jury in Federal court. In protest of that decision, Paronto refused to testify at his trial.[7] Along with Mitchell Zuckoff and other members of the Annex Security Team stationed in Benghazi, Paronto co-wrote the book 13 Hours,[8][9] which became a New York Times bestseller. The book was the basis for the Michael Bay-directed film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.[10] Paronto also wrote the best-selling[11] self-help reference The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield. In 2017, Paronto released his second book, The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield. A self-improvement and survival guide, the book takes Paronto's experiences from his Army training to instruct readers on how to be successful in their own lives through overcoming adversity.[12]


  • 2017 The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield, ISBN 1478948205 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., ISBN 1478948183 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • 2014 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, ISBN 1455582271 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.


  1. "Biography". Kris "Tanto" Paronto. September 11, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Notarianni, Alicia (5 November 2017). "Security contractor Kris Paronto to discuss events of Sept. 11, 2012, at local fundraiser". Herald-Mail Media. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  3. "Kris Paronto, Benghazi Hero, Slams Hillary, Targets Radical Islam". Newsmax. June 21, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  4. "Talk by Benghazi veteran stirs social media protest". Victoria Advocate. September 23, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  5. Brown, Ben (April 5, 2017). "Benghazi Hero Kris 'Tanto' Paronto: Susan Rice is a Pathological Liar". Fox Business. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  6. Inbody, Kristen (6 November 2017). "Former Ranger, survivor of Benghazi siege speaking in Great Falls". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  7. Charters, Justen (28 November 2017). "After Benghazi Terrorist Is Cleared of Murder — Hero Who Was There Gives Explosive Take on Verdict". IJR. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. "Omahan in Benghazi in 2012 faults CIA station chief's stand-down order". Omaha.com. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  9. "Omahan on Benghazi team is happy with '13 Hours' film, which is based on book he co-wrote". Omaha.com. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  10. Lesnick, Silas (February 3, 2015). "Michael Bay's 13 Hours Adds Pablo Schreiber". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  11. "USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books". USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books. USA Today. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  12. "Witness of Benghazi attack kicks off Lyceum Series". Victoria Advocate. September 16, 2017.

External links[edit]

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