a Great and Wonderful Man
Mark Kendall Bingham 1970-2001
"With You!"
In Memoriam
Mark Kendall Bingham













Full Name: Mark Kendall Bingham
Born: May 22, 1970 in Phoenix, Arizona

He lived his life in Miami, Florida, and Riverside, Redlands, Monterey, Los Gatos, Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, amd San Francisco, California. He last resided in New York City.

His life was cut short by tragedy aboard flight #93 on September 11th, 2001.

Mark was the CEO of The Bingham Group, a public relations firm with offices in San Francisco and New York. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.

In 1991 and 1993 he helped the University of California earn national titles in rugby. Jack Clark, the coach of the rugby team, said "He marched to his own beat. This guy was anything but a follower. I don't know if we'll ever know what happened in that airplane, but it would not surprise me that Mark would resist."

A few years ago, the six-foot-five Bingham wrestled a gun from a mugger's hand late at night on a San Francisco street. In July he was carried on the horns of a bull in Pamplona.

Mr. Bingham's uncle, Linden Hogland, said, "Our family figured it out this way. His personality is so obstreperous and irrepressible. You couldn't hold him back. We're sure that after the phone call there was a real struggle, a physical confrontation."

The Mark I Knew

Tuesday, the world lost a unique and wonderful man. I also suffered a very personal loss, as Mark and I were together for six years.

Before I tell the world what I knew about Mark, I first want to thank everyone for all of their heartfelt emails and phone calls. Secondly I want to thank Alice Hoglan for having raised such a wonderful man. Alice's strength and love through this ordeal have been an inspiration to us all. The rest of Mark's family helped make him the wonderful man he was. My prayers and love are for Mark's Grandma, Grandpa, Vaughn, Kathy, Candy, Lee, and Lynn. Finally I want to thank some of Mark's closest friends who have made this terrible tragedy more bearable with their support and love, especially Dave, Kim, Todd, Amanda, Damon, Cam, Paul, Mike, Mike and Mike.

A friend told me you can measure the amount of love one has based on the depth of grief - I could not have loved anyone more than I loved Mark Bingham and am grieving terribly, as we all are. I will miss him terribly. Words cannot fully express the depth of my sorrow and loss. I know I am not alone in this grief, as Mark touched so many people, from those he met only once to those who knew him for years and of course his family.

Please help me, Mark's family, friends and all who knew him by celebrating his life. Mark would want it that way. Mark would want us to dwell on the positive and that is what I will try to do now, to shed some very personal light into the life of this wonderful man.

As some of you knew, Mark and I had a very private relationship. We were very much in love and as close to soul mates as I think either of us got. We definitely shared an incredibly intense and wonderful bond - not better, but different than bonds of friendship or family. Our bond was based on mutual respect and the selection of another person you seriously consider spending the rest of your life with. We shared many, many special and private thoughts throughout the years. We were very different in many ways yet so similar in others. My position in Mark's life is unique. Mark's mother told me in the last few days that I was a driving force in Mark's life and had a lot to do in helping him become the man he was. I am honored by that statement.

Recently, Mark and I spent a very long evening (actually until five o'clock in the morning, in classic Mark style) in Manhattan, discussing the two of us, the world and life. We both came away from that long evening feeling great about ourselves and our futures. I recall using the words "pride" and "happiness" in my association with Mark that night. I was so proud of where he was in life. He was doing exactly what he wanted with his life, having set up a very successful business he was now looking forward to a freer period of traveling and enjoying life. Mark was very happy. Everyone should remember this -- Mark was happy, doing exactly the things he wanted and living his life tothe fullest, as he always did. He had achieved things in 31 years that many people never achieve in a much longer lifetime.

With that unique perspective and the insight gained from living with this wonderful man for a large part of his adult life, I offer you some insights into his beauty and vitality.

A few of the words that best describe him and always will... I hope they evoke images of Mark for you as well

Mark was a complex, multifaceted man

When I met Mark he was a youthful 23, just out of Cal, living in the "shed" on John Street in Rockridge. During the past decade he grew into a mature, powerful man with his own business and the bi-coastal lifestyle he sought.

We spent our years together living life to the fullest. We of course went to lots of sporting events, including Cal Basketball. We traveled a lot (all over France -- Paris, Bordeaux, Brittany, Provence, Cote d'Azur, Dordogne, Alsace, elsewhere in Europe and Asia and throughout the US), spending a lot of time in New York and Paris.

Mark and I both love good food and wine -- Through our relationship we worked hard at honing our eating and drinking skills. Someone told me when we first met, Mark's idea of a meal was to put all the leftovers in a blender and make a leftover shake. I know the first meal he made for me was a microwaved hotpocket, microwaved with all of the love in the world of course. But, for those of you that knew Mark's fondness for good wine and food you know he came a long way from hotpockets and drinking leftover shakes. Mark considered himself to be a true gourmand and able to challenge me on subtleties of a fine foie gras or challenge Jeff Staimen to ranking vintage Bordeaux's of sauternes. Mark came to appreciate good food and wine as he did all of life's gifts. He enjoyed them to the fullest.

Besides all of the exciting travel and events, we spent a lot of quality time together talking about life. We each learned so much from each other and grew into the people we were in large part because of each other.

The following are some words that begin to describe this wonderful man, Mark Bingham:

  • Vibrant - Mark's paramount goal was to squeeze every ounce out of life. He met that goal on a daily basis.
  • Gregarious - I always think of Mark as a huge human Labrador Retriever - eagerly bounding through life.
  • Engaging - Mark had an uncanny ability to draw people to him. It wasn't just charisma, it was more. I always told Mark he had "it." People wanted to be around Mark. He made even new arrivals to his life feel as if they were old friends. A rare and wonderful quality. He brought so much joy to people.
  • Carefree - Mark was serious at times, but in general he had a liberating freedom about him that allowed him to enjoy life to the fullest.
  • Full of life - No one had more life in them than Mark Bingham - family, friends, work, sports. He lived every second of every day to the fullest.
  • Feisty - Anyone who knows Mark knows how feisty and tough he could be, when he had to - this could include feistiness for being waken up too early after too many shots of jaeger to more serious infractions. The feistiness was not malevolent and ran in concert his energy and zest for life.
  • Fun loving - Mark loved to have fun. I don't think he planned it. It just was his nature.
  • Spirited - Need I say anything more than "Go Bears"?! Mark loved to root for his teams - especially his beloved Golden Bears and Miami Dolphins. Mark never wore red and never ask him if Joe Montana is a better quarterback than Dan Marino is.
  • Humorous - Mark loved to play jokes and come up with Nicknames for people. Given my stature he dubbed me his "Little Bird" and as his language skills improved changed it to the French translation - "Le Petit Oiseau " ...We all share special humor with Mark who loved to make us laugh at him and at ourselves.
  • Creative - Mark's creativity was a big part of who he was. He loved coming up with creative messaging, doing artistic videos, sketching and drawing.
  • Hard working - Mark was not just about fun and play. He had a serious side too. He worked very hard to build a successful business. He helped me launch my business, then took the positive learnings and built on them with his own great skills.
  • Competitive - You did not want to beat Mark at anything. He was not a good loser. He loved to win, whether it be at business, rugby or scrabble.
  • Kind - Mark had a fun loving and tough faŤade, but underneath it he was one of the kindest men I've known. He was very sensitive (sorry rugby guys) and always thinking about others' feelings.
  • Playful - Mark loved to play. I believe he thought life was one big playground and that is how he approached it. Through that approach he made life more fun for everyone around him.
  • Smiling - From the day I met him, at a Christmas party in 1993, Mark had a smile on his face. I can see it as if it were yesterday - he was standing at the table having devoured a whole bowl of prawns (meant for the whole party), turned to me with his trade mark smile and said "Hi, I'm Mark Bingham." That smiling image is etched in my memory forever.
  • Loyal - Mark was the most loyal person I know. He was devoted to his family and friends. With Mark as a friend, you always knew you would have at least one other by your side in any fight or adversity.
  • Protective - It was inherent in Mark's being to protect those he loved. His devotion and protection of his family, especially his mom Alice was paramount. His protective instincts extended to his friends and even to acquaintances. It was Mark's nature to protect the weaker. He was drawn to shy, vulnerable people because he wanted to protect and help them. There are countless examples of Mark protecting those he thought needed protection ... from saving my life with the San Francisco mugger to the last example of protecting the country from the evil terrorists.

    And now one last word that described Mark and will now describe him for eternity --

  • Heroic - Mark was always my personal hero. For his ongoing support and love of me, even after our relationship moved into a different phase. Now he is a very public hero. I am convinced with every bone in my body that he was responsible for bringing down Flight 93 and saving hundreds of lives and the White House. I am so proud to be able to say that Mark -- my hero and now the nation's hero -- and I were partners and friends.
I will miss Mark each day of the rest of my life. He is one of the finest men to come before us. I hate what has happened, but I believe it was God's will and Mark's destiny to go out this way, as the hero he was to those who knew him before and the hero he is now to the whole world.

Please join me in toasting Mark - the vibrant, gregarious, carefree, full of life, feisty, fun loving, spirited, humorous, hard working, competitive, kind, playful, smiling, loyal and protective hero to us all. Thank you Mark for being you.

God Bless Mark, his family, friends and the country he gave his life for. We are all better for having known him.


In closing, I want to include short letter directly to Mark...

Dear B:

We spent six wonderful years living and growing together. We developed a special bond that will never die. Recently, we were lucky enough to enjoy a long, wonderful evening together in New York that put us both at peace. I'm so proud and glad to have known you --You will always be in my heart.

Love, your Petit Oiseau.
















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