Openly hay man Mark Bingham leaves a lasting legacy 20+ years after United Flight 93 Crash.
Mark Bingham was an American public relations executive, entrepreneur, and athlete, born on May 22, 1970, in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he played rugby and graduated in 1993.
Bingham had recently opened a satellite office of his public relations firm in New York City and was spending more time on the East Coast. An athlete at 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 225 pounds (102 kg),He discussed plans with his friend Scott Glaessgen to form a New York City rugby team, the Gotham Knights.
On September 11, 2001, Bingham who was the last to arrive was on board United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by terrorists as part of the coordinated 9/11 attacks. Along with several other passengers, including Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett, and Jeremy Glick, Bingham is believed to have played a key role in resisting the hijackers and fighting back, ultimately forcing the plane to crash in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, instead of its intended target in Washington, D.C.
Bingham’s actions on that day have been celebrated as an act of heroism, and he is considered one of the “brave 40” passengers and crew members who gave their lives to prevent further loss of life on the ground. His mother Alice Hoglan became an outspoken advocate for increased airport security and anti-terrorism measures after the attacks.
Mark Bingham was openly gay and an advocate for LGBT rights, and his bravery and sacrifice have been celebrated as an example of the diversity and unity that characterized the response to the 9/11 attacks. He was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2002 ESPY Awards, and his legacy continues to inspire many today.
The 2013 feature-length documentary The Rugby Player focuses on Bingham and the bond he had with his mother, Alice Hoagland, a former United Airlines flight attendant who, following his death, became an authority on airline safety and a champion of LGBT rights.
Mark Bingham was a a true gay American gay hero.