Mark Bingham

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Mark Kendall Bingham (May 22, 1970 – September 11, 2001) was an American public relations executive who founded his own company, the Bingham Group. He died at age 31 in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93.

Contents

Education

Bingham attended Los Gatos High School. He was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also president of his fraternity, Chi Psi. In college, he played for the UC Berkeley rugby union team and helped them win a string of national championships.

Rugby and business career

A large athlete at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 225 pounds (102 kg), he also played for the San Francisco Fog RFC, a rugby union team. In 2001 most of the Fog were complete novices to the game, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through their practices, and played No. 8 in their first two friendly matches. He also played in their first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught his teammates his favorite rugby songs and made them feel like we were part of something bigger than themselves.[1]

In May 2001, as a member of the Fog, he took part in the Washington DC Renegades Invitational Tournament. Although very few in number, most of the rugby teams extant at that time took part in the tournament. It was after the tournament that Gotham’s Scott Glaessgen, who had been inspired by the tournament and who had been friends with Mark since 1998, contacted Bingham about forming a rugby team in New York City.

Mark had recently opened a second office of his successful public relations firm in NYC and was spending more time on the East Coast. Mark was excited about the possibility and over the summer the two men started planning the formation of a New York City team the Gotham Knights RFC.[2] On September 11, 2001 he boarded Flight 93 at the last minute, on his way to California to be an usher in his fraternity brother Joseph Salama's wedding.

Death

Bingham was among the passengers who attempted to storm the cockpit of Flight 93 to try to prevent members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization, from using the plane to kill hundreds or thousands of additional victims as a part of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He made a brief airphone call to his mother, Alice Hoagland (formerly spelled "Hoglan"), shortly before the plane went down. Hoagland, a former flight attendant with United Airlines, later left a voice mail message on his cell phone, instructing Bingham to reclaim the aircraft after it became apparent that Flight 93 was to be used in a suicide mission.

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