In My Hero, some of the brightest lights from around the globe share -- in their own words -- stories about the people who have been the greatest source of strength and inspiration to them. With essays by military heroes, political leaders, and Nobel Prize winners, sports heroes, firefighters, scientists, and schoolteachers -- and with an introduction by basketball legend, businessman, and philanthropist Earvin "Magic" Johnson -- this collection gathers individuals who themselves are shining examples to tell us about the people who have illuminated their own lives.
How did Dana Reeve come to find such grit and grace when her fairy-tale prince was thrown from his real-life steed, paralyzed from the neck down?
What traits of baseball great Ted Williams have inspired war hero Senator John McCain since childhood?
What impact did Nelson Mandela have on boxing legend Muhammad Ali?
Why does one of the all-time greats of baseball, Yogi Berra, believe that he owes each of his legendary home runs to his brothers?
How did Michael J. Fox find a woman who would walk away from a spectacular career in finance in order to fight for a cure for Parkinson's disease at the helm of his nonprofit foundation?
Why does John Glenn, a man who flew into space twice and served a quarter century on the Senate floor, look up to his own wife, Annie Glenn, as the true hero in the family?
In a world hungry for good examples, My Hero reminds us that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. It also teaches us that the words and deeds of those who inspire us are as varied as the stars that illuminate the night.
The editors of My Hero and the contributors are donating all royalties from this book to the nonprofit My Hero Project.
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October 25, 2005
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Excerpt from My Hero by The My Hero Project
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee..."
During the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, the world looked on as a determined Muhammad Ali accepted the Olympic torch and, with hands shaking from the effects of Parkinson's disease, lit the flame that would burn throughout the sixteen-day event. It was just one of the many times the legendary boxer and humanitarian has lit up the world.
In a career that included 56 wins, three world championships, and a gold medal from the 1960 Rome Olympics, Ali demonstrated not just pure power and athleticism, but bravery, integrity, and a generosity that transcends athletics, race, religion, and politics. In addition to his prowess in the ring, Ali dedicated his life to fighting for his own and others' civil rights.
With his legendary charm, wit, and steadfast allegiance to his principles, Ali has become an iconic figure who inspires those who share his personal views--and those who don't. Beloved and respected around the globe, he has made an impact on many continents. Just before the start of the first Gulf War, for example, Ali negotiated the release of fifteen hostages held in Iraq. He has been honored as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and is a major contributor to numerous humanitarian causes throughout the world, donating both publicly and anonymously. In 2005, the Muhammad Ali Center opened its doors in Louisville, Kentucky, to help young people "find greatness within," by focusing on the themes that have carried Ali so gracefully through his own life: confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, spirituality, and generosity.