Remembered as one of several missionaries killed during Operation Auca, an evangelical enterprise in Ecuador, he was the subject of several documentary films, including Torchlighters: The Jim Elliot Story and Beyond Gates of Splendor.
During his time at Wheaton College in Illinois, he became involved in the Christian missionary work that would shape the rest of his life.
He and his fellow missionaries were killed by warriors belonging to the Ecuadorian Huaorani ethnic group.
He and his wife, Elisabeth Elliot, were the subjects of a 2003 musical theater piece titled Love Above All. The couple's marriage resulted in a daughter named Valerie (born in 1955).
He and fellow missionary Nate Saint were both killed in Ecuador during Operation Auca.