Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls Information
Edward Michael "Bear" Grylls was born on June 7, 1974 to Sir Michael Grylls and his wife Sally. Bear Grylls grew up in the Isle of Wight in the UK, and had his formal education at Eton College and at London University where he got a degree in Hispanic Studies. After graduating, Bear Grylls joined the UK Special Forces Selection as a Sabre soldier, and he was trained extensively in combat warfare and survival. Bear Grylls then served for three years in 21 SAS which specializes in Close Target Reconnaissance and attack. He served twice in North Africa, and helped in the anti-poaching effort. Bear Grylls' military career, however, ended unexpectedly in 1996 when his parachute was damaged in a routine exercise. He ended up with three broken vertebrae and mild paralysis of the legs. Bear Grylls spent his next 12 months in rehabilitation

In 1997, after his rehab, Bear Grylls climbed the Ama Dablam in the Himalayas. He was the youngest Briton to mount the "unclimbable" peak. The next year, Bear Grylls became the youngest Briton (at 23 years old) to summit Mount Everest AND return alive. A certain Michael Matthews was the youngest Briton to climb the world's tallest peak but died on the way down. Bear Grylls' Everest Climb was in aid of SSAFA Forces, a British-based charity that helps former and serving members of the UK armed forces and their families. Bear Grylls then wrote a book about his Everest adventure, "The Kid who Climbed Everest" (US edition) which became a bestseller. The UK book was entitled "Facing Up".

In 2000, Bear Grylls led the first team to circumnavigate the UK on a personal watercraft for the benefit of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). In 2003, Bear Grylls led a team of five male Britons in an open rigid inflatable boat, to do the first unassisted crossing of the north Atlantic Arctic Ocean. This was in aid of The Prince's Trust, an organization which supports underprivileged young people in Britain. It was a harrowing experience for Bear Grylls' team as they traversed the Arctic Ocean, and he wrote a book about their terrifying journey entitled "Facing the Frozen Ocean". For his efforts, Bear Grylls was awarded the honorary rank of Lieutenant Commander in the UK's Royal Naval Reserve.

In 2005, Bear Grylls led the first team to attempt to paramotor over the remote jungle plateaus of the Angel Falls in Venezuela. This attempt was in aid of the charity Hope & Homes for Children. Bear Grylls' team was trying to reach the highest and most remote high tepuis, made famous by Conan Doyle's Lost World. It was also in 2005 that Bear Grylls made a four-part documentary called Escape to the Legion where he and 11 other UK recruits in the French Foreign Legion endured a month-long basic desert training in the Sahara. The show was seen on Channel 4 in UK and on the Military Channel in USA. In 2006, Bear Grylls hosted an 8-part documentary series entitled Man vs. Wild (Discovery Channel US) and Born Survivor: Bear Grylls (Channel 4 and Discovery Channel Europe, Asia & Africa). The series follows Bear Grylls as he tries to survive in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. Season 2 of the said show already started in the US last June 15th, 2007. Bear Grylls also wrote a bestseller book (same title as the series) to accompany Man vs. Wild.

In 2007, Bear Grylls made a new world record by flying a petrol-powered paraglider over the Himalayas, higher than Mount Everest. His adventure raised $1 million for the charity Global Angels, and Bear Grylls described it as "the hairiest, most frightening thing" he had ever done. A 2-hour film of his adventure was shown in Discovery Channel worldwide and Channel 4 in the UK. Recently, Bear Grylls again made a world record, this time for the highest open-air formal dinner party held at 25,000 feet, which was done on a hot air balloon. It was in collaboration with balloonist and mountaineer David Hempleman-Adams, and was done in aid of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Charity.

Bear Grylls also works as an international motivational speaker. He has appeared in several shows like in the Oprah Winfrey Show, and with Jay Leno and David Letterman. He currently lives on a converted barge on the River Thames with his wife Shara and their two sons, Jesse and Marmaduke. Aside from the charitable acts already mentioned, Bear Grylls is also the vice president for The JoLt Trust, a charity that takes abused, disabled, disadvantaged, or neglected young people on challenging month-long expeditions.

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