Mark Kendall Bingham
May 22, 1970
|Died||September 11, 2001 (aged 31)|
|Cause of death||Plane crash (September 11 terrorist attacks)|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Home town||Los Gatos, California|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|Date of birth||May 22, 1970|
|Place of birth||Los Gatos, California, U.S.|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|University||University of California, Berkeley|
|Rugby union career|
Mark Kendall Bingham (May 22, 1970 – September 11, 2001) was an American public relations executive who founded his own company, the Bingham Group. During the September 11 attacks in 2001, he was a passenger on board United Airlines Flight 93. Bingham was among the passengers who, along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, formed the plan to retake the plane from the hijackers, and led the effort that resulted in the crash of the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thwarting the hijackers’ plan to crash the plane into a building in Washington, D.C., most likely either the U.S. Capitol Building or the White House.
Both for his presence on United 93, as well as his athletic physique, Bingham has been widely honored posthumously for having "smashed the gay stereotype mold and really opened the door to many others who came after him."
Mark Bingham was born in 1970, the only child of mother Alice Hoagland and father Gerald Bingham. When Mark was two years old, his parents divorced. Raised by his mother and her family, Mark grew up in Miami, Florida, and Southern California before moving to the San Jose area in 1983. Bingham was an aspiring filmmaker growing up, and began using a video camera as a teenager as a personal diary through which he expressed himself and documented his life and the lives of his family and friends. He accumulated hundreds of hours of video documenting the final decade and a half of his life. He graduated from Los Gatos High School as a two-year captain of his rugby team in 1988. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Bingham played on two of Coach Jack Clark's national-championship-winning rugby teams in the early 1990s. He also joined the Chi Psi fraternity, eventually becoming its president. Upon graduation at the age of twenty-one, Bingham came out as gay to his family and friends.
Rugby and business career
A large athlete at 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 225 pounds (102 kg), Bingham also played for the gay-inclusive rugby union team San Francisco Fog RFC. Bingham played No. 8 in their first two friendly matches. He played in their first tournament, and taught his teammates his favorite rugby songs.
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. He discussed plans with his friend Scott Glaessgen to form a New York City rugby team, the Gotham Knights.
On September 11, 2001
On the morning of September 11, Bingham overslept and nearly missed his flight, on his way to San Francisco to be an usher in his fraternity brother Joseph Salama's wedding. He arrived at the Terminal A at 7:40am, ran to Gate 17, and was the last passenger to board United Airlines Flight 93, taking seat 4D, next to passenger Tom Burnett.
United Flight 93 was scheduled to depart at 8:00am, but the Boeing 757 did not depart until 42 minutes later due to runway traffic delays. Four minutes later, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. Fifteen minutes later, at 9:03 am, as United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, United 93 was climbing to cruising altitude, heading west over New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. At 9:25 am, Flight 93 was above eastern Ohio, and pilots Jason Dahl and LeRoy Homer received an alert, "beware of cockpit intrusion," on the cockpit computer device ACARS (Aircraft Communications and Reporting System). Three minutes later, Cleveland controllers could hear screams over the cockpit's open microphone. Moments later, the hijackers, led by the Lebanese Ziad Samir Jarrah, took over the plane's controls and told passengers, "Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board". Bingham and the other passengers were herded into the back of the plane. Within six minutes, the plane changed course and was heading for Washington, D.C. Several of the passengers made phone calls to loved ones, who informed them about the two planes that had crashed into the World Trade Center.
After the hijackers veered the plane sharply south, the passengers decided to act. Bingham, along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, formed a plan to take the plane back from the hijackers. They related this to their loved ones and the authorities via telephone. Bingham got through to his aunt's home in California. Bingham stated, "This is Mark. I want to let you guys know that I love you, in case I don't see you again...I'm on United Airlines, Flight 93. It's being hijacked." according to The Week, Hoagland formed the impression that her son was talking "confidentially" with a fellow passenger, to form a plan to retake the plane. According to ABC News, the call was cut off after about three minutes. Hoagland, after seeing news reports of the plane's hijacking, called him back and left two messages for him, calmly saying, "Mark, this is your mom. The news is that it's been hijacked by terrorists. They are planning to probably use the plane as a target to hit some site on the ground. I would say go ahead and do everything you can to overpower them, because they are hellbent. Try to call me back if you can." Bingham, Burnett, and Glick were each more than 6 feet tall, well-built and fit. As they made their decision to retake the plane, Glick related this over the phone to his wife, Lyz. Fellow passenger Todd Beamer, speaking to GTE-Verizon Lisa Jefferson and the FBI, related that he too was part of this group. They were joined by other passengers, including Lou Nacke, Rich Guadagno, Alan Beaven, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, Linda Gronlund, and William Cashman, along with flight attendants Sandra Bradshaw and Cee Cee Ross-Lyles, in discussing their options and voting on a course of action, ultimately deciding to storm the cockpit and take over the plane.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, after the plane's voice data recorder was recovered, it revealed pounding and crashing sounds against the cockpit door and shouts and screams in English. "Let's get them!" a passenger cries. A hijacker shouts, "Allah akbar!" ("God is great"). Jarrah repeatedly pitched the plane to knock passengers off their feet, but the passengers apparently managed to invade the cockpit, where one was heard shouting, "In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die." At 10:02 am, a hijacker ordered, "Pull it down! Pull it down!" The 9/11 Commission later reported that the plane's control wheel was turned hard to the right, causing it to roll on its back and plow into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 580 miles an hour, killing everyone on board. The plane was twenty minutes of flying time away from its suspected target, the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. According to Vice President Dick Cheney, President George W. Bush had given the order to shoot the plane down had it continued its path to Washington.
Bingham was survived by his parents, and Hoagland family members who played a part in his upbringing: his grandparents Betty and Herbert Hoagland, his aunt Candyce Hoagland, his uncles Lee, Linden and Vaughn Hoagland. He is survived as well by his stepmother and various stepsiblings. and his former partner of six years, Paul Holm, who said Bingham had risked his life to protect the lives of others on occasions prior to 9/11, having twice successfully protected Holm from attempted muggings, one at gunpoint. Holm described Bingham as a brave, competitive man, saying, "He hated to lose—at anything." He was known to proudly display a scar he received after being gored at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. He is buried at Madronia Cemetery, Saratoga, California.
The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament (referred to as the Bingham Cup), a biennial international rugby union competition predominantly for gay and bisexual men, was established in 2002 in his memory.
The Eureka Valley Recreation Center's Gymnasium in San Francisco was renamed the Mark Bingham Gymnasium in August 2002.
Beginning in 2005, the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement has been awarded by the California Alumni Association of the University of California, Berkeley to a young alumnus or alumna at its annual Charter Gala.
The 2013 feature-length documentary The Rugby Player focuses on Bingham and the bond he had with his mother, Alice Hoglan, a former United Airlines flight attendant who, following his death, became a nationally known authority on airline safety and a champion of LGBT rights. Directed by Scott Gracheff, the film relies on the vast amount of video footage Bingham himself shot beginning in his teens until weeks before his death. The film's alternate title, With You, is a popular rugby term, and one of Bingham's favorite expressions.
- "Unexpected legacy left by hero of Flight 93". Yahoo! News. September 2, 2011.
- King, Samantha (February 2009). "Virtually Normal: Mark Bingham, the War on Terror, and the Sexual Politics of Sport". Journal of Sport and Social Issues. 33 (1): 12. doi:10.1177/0193723508328631.
- Thomas, Kevin (June 15, 2011). "Frameline 2011: A Closer Look at the Coming Weekend". San Francisco Examiner.
- Woolf, Tiffany (July 2011). "Sneak Preview Screening: Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival". Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.[dead link]
- Siek, Julia Prodis (September 11, 2011). "Messages for Flight 93 passenger capture fear, resolve on Sept. 11".San Jose Mercury News
- Barrett, Jon (January 22, 2002). "Person of the year: This Is Mark Bingham". The Advocate. Nos. 854-855, ISSN 0001-8996, pp. 41, 42.
- Zavos, Spiro (December 23, 2009). "Mark Bingham is rugby union's iconic gay player". The Roar.
- "Mark Bingham" Archived 2009-11-02 at the Wayback Machine. Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- Barret, Jon (January 22, 2002). "Person of the year: This Is Mark Bingham".The Advocate. Nos. 854-855, ISSN 0001-8996, page 45.
- Cooper, Elise (July 9, 2010). "9/11 Families: No Mosque on Our Sacred Ground". NewsReal Blog.
- Vulliamy, Ed (December 1, 2001). "The real story of flight 93'Let's roll...'". The Guardian.
- "Brief Biographies: Passengers and Crew of Flight 93". Flight 93 National Memorial. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- Atkins, Stephen E. (2008). The 9/11 Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-275-99432-7.
- Evensen, Bruce J. (2000). "Beamer, Todd Morgan". American National Biography. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- McKinnon, Jim (September 16, 2001). "The phone line from Flight 93 was still open when a GTE operator heard Todd Beamer say: 'Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll...'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "The heroes of Flight 93. The Week. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Veale, Scott (September 16, 2001). "Word for Word/Last Words; Voices From Above: 'I Love You, Mommy, Goodbye'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- O'Brien Miles (September 19, 2001). "Calls indicate Flight 93 passengers went down fighting". CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Mason, Margie (October 22, 2001). "Gay Hero Emerges From Hijacking". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- "Mom Urged Son to Fight Flight 93 Hijackers". ABC News. March 30, 2018, Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Alderson, Andrew; Bisset, Susan (October 21, 2001). "The extraordinary last calls of Flight UA93". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Alderson, Andrew; Bisset, Susan (October 21, 2001). "The extraordinary last calls of Flight UA93". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Barrett, Jon. "Person of the year: This Is Mark Bingham". The Advocate. January 22, 2002, Nos. 854-855, ISSN 0001-8996, pages 43–47.
- Dahir, Mubarak (October 23, 2001). "Our Heroes: Whether It Was By Saving Lives or Simply Living Life to Its Fullest, Gay Men and Lesbians Were Among the Thousands of Americans who, on September 11, Showed Humanity's True Spirit". The Advocate. ISSN 0001-8996, pages 42–45.
- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 3928). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Broverman, Neal (August 5, 2011). "LGBT Heroes to Remember". The Advocate.
- Atkins, Stephen E. (June 2, 2011). The 9/11 Encyclopedia: Second Edition. ABC-CLIO, p. 72. Google Books.
- "Flight 93 passengers selected for Ashe Award". Associated Press/ESPN. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Recreation and Park Commission Minutes" Archived 2012-08-07 at the Wayback Machine. City and County of San Francisco, Recreation and Parks Department. August 15, 2002
- "Lucky" Archived 2012-10-10 at the Wayback Machine. melissaetheridge.com. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Wilcox, Barbara (September 10, 2006). "A Mark Bingham history tour". The Advocate.
- "Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alumnus/a 2013". California Alumni Association. University of California, Berkeley.
- "Mark Bingham Award Recipients". California Alumni Association. University of California, Berkeley.
- Mark Bingham Archived 2013-07-27 at the Wayback Machine. Memorial Guide: National 9/11 Memorial. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- "New Image of Flight 93 National Memorial Unveiled". Flight 93 National Memorial. May 4, 2009
- "About the Film" Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine. With You. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Gebhart, Betsy (June 18, 2011). "'With You' Documentary On Flight 93 Hero, Family Premieres". CBS DC.
- Barrett, Jon Hero of Flight 93: Mark Bingham, Advocate Books, 2002 ISBN 1-55583-780-8
- "UNITED FLIGHT 93: On Doomed Flight, Passengers Vowed to Perish Fighting" The New York Times. September 13, 2001
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mark Bingham.|
- Mark Bingham: a Tribute to a Wonderful Man, a Great Friend, a Loving Brother, and an American Hero.
- SFFOG.ORG Mark's rugby team, the S.F. Fog (Mark's Memorial page).
- Advocate Magazine article on Bingham.
- Daily Cal Article referencing Mark attacking Stanford tree.
- Mark Bingham Scholarship Fund.
- Official Website of The Bingham Cup.
- Team Bingham - Mark Bingham Scholarship fundraising Organization.
- Mark Bingham on IMDb
- After September 11: Farewell to a Hero (California Monthly tribute).
- With You: The Mark Bingham Story
- Mark Bingham at Find a Grave