Inability to Stop Dad's Suicide Drove Hero Pilot: Memoir

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2009 1:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot hero of January’s Hudson River jet landing, was driven to help others by his father’s suicide, the New York Daily News reports. “One of the reasons I think I’ve placed such a high value on life is that my father took his,” he writes in a memoir. He strives “to not be a bystander, in part because I couldn’t save my father.”

“We need to try to do the right thing every time, to perform at our best, because we never know which moment in our lives we’ll be judged on,” Sullenberger writes in Highest Duty. He also confesses that before the Miracle on the Hudson he had a poor opinion of New Yorkers—but that day in the freezing water, if felt like all of New York “was reaching out to warm us.” (Read more Chesley Sullenberger stories.)

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