On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog. Days later, America fell in love with Michael Hingson and Roselle and the special bond that helped them both survive one of the country's darkest days.
From the day he received his first guide dog at 14-years-old, Hingson has been developing and fostering skills in leadership, trust, teamwork, adaptation and more – all skills which he was able to apply to the corporate world and as a professional speaker for the past 12 years. He has served as Chairman of the Marin County Senior Coordinating Council and is a long time Social advocate for change concerning disabilities through his involvement with the National Federation of the Blind.
Hingson’s #1 New York Times best-selling book, THUNDER DOG: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust (Thomas Nelson) was released in August 2011 and gives readers an unprecedented look at how a guide dog team works and how blind people can be just as successful as our “light dependent colleagues”. A harrowing story of faith trust and courage, Thunder Dog reveals how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days – September 11, 2001.
After 9/11 Hingson began receiving requests to speak to audiences about his experience on that day as well as to discuss his thoughts on life and dealing with change. He has become a recognized internationally acclaimed public speaker who captivates audiences with his personal and compelling story. He also teaches his listeners new ways of looking at life and their worlds by helping them to visualize from his viewpoint how to live, function and thrive. He demonstrates through stories and personal examples how anyone can be a leader and become more successful in whatever they attempt to do. First and foremost, Hingson personally connects with every audience member by drawing them into his world and showing them how to use their own inner tools more effectively than they ever thought possible. Hingson speaks to and has expertise on topics including leadership, teamwork, trust, inclusion, public speaking, disabilities, survival, change and much more. His presentations also include an underlying theme about his faith in God and how the manifestation of that faith brought him through tragedy on 9-11.
Hingson gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. Hingson is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
Hingson attended the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where he graduated with honors and received a Masters degree in physics. He also earned a secondary teaching credential from UC Irvine’s School of Teaching and Education. While attending Palmdale High School where he graduated with a 3.54 grade average, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, where he rose to the highest honor a Boy Scout can receive, known as Vigil. Hingson enjoys a successful 35-year sales career, first in high-tech and now is selling attitudes and the adventure of life and living joyfully to audiences around the world. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Karen, Africa, Michael’s seventh guide dog, and Fantasia, Africa’s mother and a retired breeder dog for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Praise for Michael Hingson:
“Michael Hingson is an international hero honored and awarded by top organizations worldwide.”
“Never before have I seen a presenter hold an audience for nearly two hours without anyone moving... Michael’s combination of seriousness, openness, humor and heart were amazing.”
--Nancy Bekavac, President, Scripps University
“People have told me that it was the best safety meeting they have ever seen. One man said, ‘at last a meaningful safety meeting especially the message on teamwork and you could have heard a pin drop in the room!’”
--Pam Pring, Supervisor, Exxon Mobile
“Michael Hingson provided us with a very special Grand Rounds lecture which captivated our audience from beginning to end. His compelling, presentation kept everyone on +the edges of their seats, and elicited insightful questions and comments from physicians and basic scientists alike…He is a talented, entertaining and engaging presenter, and everyone in the audience will come away from the experience with new insights and understanding gained from his perspective.”
--Jacque L. Duncan, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
“If you are looking for a lecturer who can grab the attention of an eager audience through personal anecdotes and powerful stories, that teach life lessons and are inspiring, moving, entertaining, and amazing, then Michael Hingson is the type of speaker for you…Michael is an excellent and compelling speaker for all kinds of audiences, as well as a joy to work and arrange lectures with.”
--Anastasia Marchelos, Lectures Chair for Adelphi University Student Activities Board
“He (Michael Hingson) was superb, both in content and presentation... Our lab school staff pointed out his ability to tailor the answer, even in the same session to the maturity level of a questioner, whether from a kindergartener or a sixth grade student.”
--Robert L. Phillips, President, Guide Dogs for the Blind