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John Goddard  

Cultural Anthropologist and World-Class Motivational Speaker

How would you like to climb the highest mountain, fly at the speed of sound, explore the ocean in a submarine, run a five minute mile, parachute from a plane, read the encyclopedia cover to cover, or play classical music on the piano?

These are some of the dreams John Goddard had as a child, and at age 15 he included these on a list -- 127 things he would like to do or see or experience during his lifetime. Today, John has completed 109 of his goals.

John is one of the world's famous adventurers and a world-class motivational speaker. Articles about him appear in Life, National Geographic Magazine, Reader's Digest, and the book Chicken Soup for the Soul. He has shared these amazing stories with students of all ages all over the world. Here are some of his accomplishments:

He climbed the Matterhorn during a blizzard that was so bad, not even the professional climbers would go along.

He retraced the route of Marco Polo through all of the Middle East, Asia and China.

He rode in the Rose Parade, visited the Great Wall of China, the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, and the everglades of Florida.

He was the first man to explore the whole length of the world's longest river, the Nile. Two other men went with him on this 4,200-mile, 10-month trek (John says he had yet one more traveling companion -- he contracted a tape worm that he named Rodney). And what type of boat do you suppose they used for the trip? Each man paddled his own little kayak! He also boated down the Amazon, Congo and others.

He was charged by hippos, crocodiles, a furious wart hog, and bloodsucking leeches in the Congo.

He survived plane crashes, earthquakes, three rounds with quicksand, almost drowned twice, and had an appendicitis attack 200 miles from the nearest health care facility. He has faced death 38 times.

He was bitten by a diamondback rattlesnake and lived!

He became the youngest ever admitted to the Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles, and is a member of the Royal Geographic Society of England, the French Explorers' Club (only American), the Mach II Club, and others.

He has lived with 260 different tribal groups. John says these tribes range "from the head hunters of New Guinea, to the pygmies of Central Africa, to the hippies of Tempe ...."

He has climbed Ararat, Kilimanjaro, Fiji, Rainier, the Matterhorn, and the Grand Tetons.

He has been to 120 countries, learned to fly a plane, explored underwater the reefs of Florida, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Red Sea, and more.

He has flown 47 different types of aircraft and set several civilian air-speed records including one at 1,500 miles an hour. He flew an F-106 to an altitude of 63,000 feet, making him the only civilian to pilot an aircraft that high, a record which he still holds.

A graduate of the University of Southern California where he majored in anthropology and psychology, Goddard has studied obscure cultures in all parts of the globe. A resident of La Canada, California, where he lives with his wife and two of his five children, Goddard does not believe in pursuing adventure for the sake of frivolous thrills, but used these experiences to achieve a worthwhile end. This end, for him, is scientific exploration, adding to the world's store of knowledge. "Digging out the facts is the real challenge," Goddard says in summing up his career. "The adventure is exciting and enjoyable--but secondary."


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