On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III saved 155 lives when he successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the cold waters of the Hudson River off midtown Manhattan. The event — called the “Miracle on the Hudson” — solidified his status as an international hero and a master in airline safety and effective leadership.
In his memoir, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, Sullenberger says he realized that his journey to the Hudson River that day didn’t begin at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, but decades before at his childhood Texas home.
“In many ways, all my mentors, heroes, and loved ones — those who taught me and encouraged me and saw the possibilities in me — were with me in the cockpit of Flight 1549. My entire life led me safely to that river,” he says.