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Bonnie St. John

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Information about Bonnie St. John

Profile image of Bonnie St. John

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Skier

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chocolate
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
People Fall Down, Gold Medal Winners Get Up First.

Birthplace

Born:
11/7/1964
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Skier

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chocolate
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
People Fall Down, Gold Medal Winners Get Up First.

Birthplace

Born:
11/7/1964
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Bonnie St. John is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader and skier Bonnie St. John was born on November 7, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan to Ruby Cremaschi-Schwimmer, an educator, and Lee St. John, an engineer. St. John's leg was amputated at the age of five; and in 1979, St. John began skiing with an amputee club. She graduated from Mission Bay High School in San Diego in 1982, and competed in the 1984 Winter Paralympics, where she won two bronze medals and a silver medal, becoming the second fastest woman in the world on one leg in that year, and the first African American to medal in the Winter Paralympics. St. John earned her A.B. degree in government magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1986, and received a Rhodes scholarship to attend the University of Oxford, where she earned her M.Litt. degree in economics in 1990.

Upon graduation, St. John began her career in sales at IBM. In 1992, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director for human capital issues for the White House National Economic Council. St. John left her position at the White House in 1994, and pursued a career as a writer and motivational speaker. She also founded Blue Circle Leadership, a business consultation agency with clients that include Target, FedEx, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Disney, among others. St. John was asked to speak during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Paralympics in Salt Lake City, Utah; and in 2010, she represented the United States as a member of President Barack Obama’s official delegation to the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

St. John was selected by NBC Nightly News as one of the five most inspiring women in America in 1996. She also made appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Montel, and the Discovery Health Channel. St. John received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Lasell College in 2004, and President George W. Bush honored St. John for Black History Month at the White House in 2008. She wrote six books, including two Amazon #1 bestsellers – Live Your Joy, published in 2009, and How Great Women Lead, which was published in 2012 and co-authored with her daughter, Darcy Deane. How Great Women Lead featured a compilation of interviews with influential women leaders such as Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

St. John is married to Allen P. Haines, and has one daughter named Darcy Deane.

Bonnie St. John was interviewed by The History Makers on August 11, 2016.

See how Bonnie St. John is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bonnie St. John's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John recalls winning a bronze medal at the 1984 Winter Paralympics
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John describes her mother's upbringing in New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bonnie St. John describes her parents' marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bonnie St. John describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bonnie St. John talks about her mother's ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bonnie St. John describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bonnie St. John talks about facing discrimination from her white father's family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bonnie St. John describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John remembers being sexually abused by her stepfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John talks about seeking therapy for her childhood sexual abuse, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John talks about seeking therapy for her childhood sexual abuse, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bonnie St. John talks about being born with a disabled right leg
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bonnie St. John recalls her hospital stay after the amputation of her leg
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bonnie St. John remembers the Palmer Way School in National City, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John describes her introduction to skiing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John recalls her training at the Burke Mountain Academy in East Burke, Vermont
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John remembers her decision to attend Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John describes her experiences at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bonnie St. John talks about the National Brotherhood of Skiers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bonnie St. John remembers her victories at the 1984 Winter Paralympics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bonnie St. John describes her Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John remembers working for IBM in San Diego, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John describes her service on the National Economic Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John talks about the influence of her Christian faith
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John describes her book 'How Strong Women Pray'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bonnie St. John recalls founding the Blue Circle Leadership Institute
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bonnie St. John describes her accomplishments with the Blue Circle Leadership Institute
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John talks about her divorce from her first husband
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John describes her writing career and marriage to Allen Haines
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John remembers writing 'How Great Women Lead'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John recalls her move to New York City, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bonnie St. John recalls her move to New York City, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bonnie St. John describes her program for women of color at the Blue Circle Leadership Institute
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bonnie St. John talks about her book, 'Micro-Resilience'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bonnie St. John reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bonnie St. John shares her advice to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bonnie St. John talks about her plans for the future