Aron Ralston: Biography highlights
An ordinary man pushed to extraordinary limits, Aron Ralston takes you inside the story that captured international headlines in which he proves that courage, perseverance and the human spirit can help you triumph over tough challenges when the stakes are extraordinary.
Full biography of Aron Ralston
Aron Ralston’s Background
Growing up in Ohio and Indiana before moving to Colorado with his family in 1987, Aron Ralston had little exposure to the wild outdoors.
But by the time he hiked into a remote area of Utah’s canyon country in April of 2003, he was an experienced outdoorsman out for a walk in the park. Seven miles into the canyon that day, Aron accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he freed himself with a cheap multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue.
Since his amputation, Aron has written an internationally bestselling book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, spoken to hundreds of audiences around the world, and interviewed with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, and Jay Leno.
With new prosthetic arms that he designed, Aron returned to his outdoor passions: he finished climbing Colorado’s 59 “Fourteeners,” in winter, solo; he’s skied from the summit of Denali, North America’s highest mountain; and, he’s led a rafting expedition through the Grand Canyon.
Today, Aron lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he advocates for wilderness protection, and where, in February 2010, he embarked on his biggest adventure yet: raising his toddler son, Leo.
127 Hours, the major-motion-picture adaptation of his book, directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco, was nominated for 6 Oscars. Aron’s only disappointment was that the soundtrack didn’t have enough songs by his favorite band, Phish.
Watch Aron in action
The Mutual Fund Store
We've had a five-time NBA-champion coach, a Division 1-champion football coach, even U.S. Presidents, and Aron was the best speaker we've ever had.'
'Aron's presentation was great - the standing ovation said it all.'
Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
'I've been coming to YPO/WPO meetings for 40 years and, unequivocally, Aron was one of the best speakers I've ever seen.'
'Many of our attendees have said that Aron was the best motivational speaker we have ever had.'
'I am a better man after listening to Aron, and I've found myself approaching challenges in a new way ever since.'
Carnegie Mellon University
'I have heard many speeches in my life, and Aron's was the finest. Only Bono's speech at my own graduation ceremony from Penn comes even close.'
'Aron had the most remarkable impact of anyone we have ever brought to our annual sales meeting.'
'I've been doing these types of meetings for 25 years, and Aron's presentation was hands-down the best I've ever seen!'
'Aron's presentation was awesome! The attendees were just raving about him.'
Affordable Comfort, Inc.
'Aron gave the best keynote speech I've ever heard. He really connected with our audience and his talk made for a special celebration of overcoming life's challenges.'
Aron's speaking topics
127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
'There is no force more powerful than the will to live,' explains Aron Ralston, who faced an unimaginable challenge with his life-or-death decision. An ordinary man who was pushed to the extreme, he demonstrates the human capacity for the extraordinary, proving anyone can survive the most grueling circumstances. A talented storyteller, Ralston recounts his ordeal, shedding new light on the meaning of sacrifice, and on what is truly important.