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Bill Bergeman


10 of the Most Inspiring People You’ve Never Heard Of

    1. Mary Caperton Morton.

    Also known as The Blonde Coyote, Morton is a freelance writer who has lived near-permanently on the road since 2005. She has hiked in all 50 states in the U.S. all while climbing over 1,000 summits. She's written hundreds of posts about her adventures at

    2. Candice Burt.

    Burt is an ultra runner and race director who recently destroyed the world record for most consecutive ultra marathons. She ran 32 miles every day for 200 days. She discusses the experience on her blog:

    3. Nick Vujicic.

    Born without arms and legs, Nick Vujicic has become well-known for his exceptional positive attitude and motivational speaking. He travels the world sharing his story of resilience, emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance, perseverance, and finding purpose in life. His website is

    4. Irena Sendler.

    During World War II, Sendler continuously risked her life by using her position as a social worker to gain access to the Warsaw Ghetto, where she and her team smuggled out an estimated 2,500 Jewish children from almost certain death in the Holocaust.

    5. Kilian Jornet.

    Jornet is a Spanish mountain athlete who has set a multitude of astounding records, including double Mount Everest summits (26 hours and 17 hours respectively) within a week without oxygen; the fastest known ascent and descent on Mont Blanc (4 hours 57 minutes); the fastest known ascent and descent of the Matterhorn (2 hours 52 minutes); the fastest known ascent and descent on Mount Kilimanjaro (7 hours 14 minutes); the fastest known ascent and descent on Denali (11 hours and 48 minutes); and the fastest known ascent and descent on Aconcagua (12 hours 49 minutes). And a whole slew of ultra marathon race wins as well.

    6. Reinhold Messner.

    Messner is one of the greatest mountaineers in history. Among his long list of feats, he was the first to do a solo ascent of Mount Everest without oxygen and completed the first ascent of all 14 eight-thousand-meter mountains in the world.

    7. Fauja Singh.

    Singh is a British-Indian centenarian marathon runner who started running marathons at the age of 89. He is the world's oldest known marathon finisher at age 92 and was the Olympic torchbearer in 2012.

    8. Liviu Librescu.

    Librescu was an engineering professor at Virginia Tech. During the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, he blocked the door of his classroom to protect his students, sacrificing his own life in the process.

    9. Maximilian Kolbe.

    During World War II, Kolbe was a Polish priest who volunteered to take the place of a fellow prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp, sacrificing his own life to save the man's life. In 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity.

    10. Sir Ernest Shackleton.

    Shackleton was a British explorer. In 1914, he and his crew attempted the first crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole. However, their ship became trapped and they were stranded on the ice for months. Shackleton led his crew across the Southern Ocean on lifeboats to Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton and a small crew embarked on a daring rescue mission, sailing in a small lifeboat back across the Southern Ocean to reach the inhabited island of South Georgia, crossed the island's mountain ranges to reach a whaling station, where they organized the rescue of the remaining crew members. After several attempts, Shackleton successfully rescued all of his crew with no losses.

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