Mark Bingham became a hero when he and
three other men thwarted a terrorist plot on 9/11 to crash a fourth
plane into a building in Washington, D.C., possibly the White House.
The gay man who founded his own public
relations company, the Bingham Group, was only 31 when he boarded
United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2011 on his way home to
San Francisco from New Jersey.
When the Boeing 757 was hijacked as it
flew over Ohio, Bingham, along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and
Jeremy Glick decided to act. At least eight other people joined them
in storming the cockpit in an attempt to take back the plane from the
terrorists who were armed and had already killed the pilot and
co-pilot. The plan resulted in the plane crashing into a field near
Alice Hoagland, Bingham's mother,
described her son as outgoing, smart and “extremely popular.”
In an interview with gay glossy The
Advocate, Hoagland recalled her son's coming out.
“I was really astounded [when he told
me]. I hadn't any idea that my son was gay, and up until that time I
had been vaguely anti-gay,” she told the magazine. “So with
those words, I began a journey.”
Paul Holm, a former boyfriend,
described the six years he spent with Bingham as “intense and
“We did everything from sitting in
front of the TV watching football to traveling to France one or twice
a year,” Holm said.
Bingham called his mother from the
plane and told her he loved her.
Bingham's name and those of the other
passengers aboard Flight 93 are listed at the National September 11
Memorial located at the World Trade Center site where the Twin Towers
destroyed on 9/11 once stood.