Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"To dare is to do ... to fear is to fail."

This philosophy has characterized John Goddard since he was 15, when he listed 127 challenging lifetime goals--like exploring the Nile, climbing Mt. Everest, running a five-minute mile and playing Clair de Lune on the piano.

Now, a generation later, he has accomplished 109 of these quests, and has logged an impressive list of records in achieving them. He was the first man in history to explore the entire length of the world's longest river, the Nile, in a 4,160 mile expedition which the Los Angeles Times called "the most amazing adventure of this generation." He then matched that achievement and became the first man ever to explore the entire length of the Congo; he scaled the Matterhorn in a raging blizzard after several professional guides had refused to go along, and he has established numerous records as a civilian jet pilot, including a speed record of 1,500 mph in the F-111 Fighter-Bomber, and an altitude record of 63,000 feet n the F-106 Delta Dart.

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. In addition, he has climbed 12 of the world's highest mountains, conducted 14 major expeditions into remote regions, traversed 15 of the worlds most treacherous rivers, visited 120 countries, studied 260 primitive tribes, and traveled in excess of one million miles during his adventurous life.

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."

Yet digging out the facts can be a hazardous occupation. Goddard has been bitten by a rattlesnake, charged by an elephant, and trapped in quicksand. He has crashed in planes, been caught in earthquakes, and almost drowned twice while running rapids. But his overwhelming desire to discover fresh knowledge and to complete his youthful list of goals has driven him on in spite of the danger.

Honored by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of California's outstanding young men, Goddard belongs to the Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles (youngest member ever admitted), the Adventurer's Club of Chicago, the Explorers' Club of New York, the Savage Club of London, the Royal Geographic Society, the French Explorers' Society (only American member), the Archaeological Society, the Mach II club, the Sigma Chi Fraternity, of which he is a life member.



~AkHaWaTi wa IkHwAni~