Hailed by the New York Times as a "modern-day Will Rogers who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America," Andy Andrews is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been received at the White House and has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents.
Andrews' New York Times best-selling book The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success is an international sensation, remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for four and a half months and being translated into nearly 20 languages. Featured on ABC's Good Morning America as a book-of-the-month selection, The Traveler's Gift is the stunning story of one man's search for meaning and success in life by traveling back into time and conversing with seven historic individuals.
Its message of hope, faith, and perseverance is transforming thousands of lives worldwide every day, spawning a teen version, The Young Traveler's Gift; The Traveler's Gift Journal; a home-study audio program, Timeless Wisdom from the Traveler; and life-study curricula in high schools, mental-health organizations, and prisons nationwide.
Andrews lived a relatively normal life until the age of 19, when both his parents died — his mother from cancer, his father in an automobile accident. "I took a bad situation and made it much worse," Andrews says with a rueful smile, referring to choices he made during this tragic period of his life. Within a span of several years, the young man found himself literally homeless ("before that was even a word!" he says), sleeping occasionally under a pier on the Gulf Coast or in someone's garage.
It was then that Andrews asked the question that would focus his search for what would ultimately affect millions of people. The question? Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?
To find the answer, he first went to the library. Over time, he read more than 200 biographies of great men and women. How did they become the people they were? he wondered. Were they born that way, or were there decisions made at critical junctures in their lives that led to their success? The young Andrews finally determined that there were seven characteristics that each person had in common. "What will happen," he mused, "if I study these seven common denominators and harness them in my own life?"
The rest is history. The "Seven Decisions," as he calls them, were the engines used to carry Andrews' life in a different direction. And more than 20 years later, those same Seven Decisions became the outline for The Traveler's Gift and the basis of a PBS Special.
But Andrews is more than just a successful author. He is in such demand for personal appearances that he occasionally consents to speak to multiple audiences in the same city — on the same day! And still, his own schedule requires that he decline more engagements than he accepts.
Corporations, associations, civic groups — even entire cities — have invited Andy Andrews to address their employees, clients, or members. According to those who have witnessed what he accomplishes on stage, there are three things that differentiate Andrews from any other speaker they have seen.
He is that extremely rare communicator who can hold an audience spellbound for as long as he remains on stage.
Corporations insist that, "Andrews is not a motivational speaker! He is a teacher." And the stories he utilizes to prove the principles he teaches dramatically affect people's climate, culture... and even income.
Andrews' speaking style is notably filled with humor. And it should be. After all, over one thousand colleges and universities twice voted a somewhat younger Andy Andrews "Comedian of the Year" in 1985 and 1986. Also in 1986, these same members of the National Association for Campus Activities named him its overall "Entertainer of the Year."
Andy also continues his work on behalf of our nation's military. He is a continuing presence in the lives of the Special Operations Squadron Commanders. In fact, he is the last person to formally address the men and their spouses before they are deployed. Three Star General Mike Wooley, the Air Force Special Operations Commander, says, "Andy Andrews' words — both written and spoken — are a significant and enduring presence in the lives of our squadron commanders around the world."
Driven by his own personal moving story, Andy Andrews communicates to his audience through the heart — an uncommon style in today's media-driven world. Arguably, there is no single person on the planet better at weaving subtle yet life-changing lessons into riveting tales of adventure and intrigue — both on paper and on stage.