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Live Inspired Podcast: S7 | Ep. 76 Man in Red Bandana

“He wasn’t trapped. He chose to stay and help others.”

Matthew Weiss, Esq. was a lawyer. He didn’t seek an opportunity to become a filmmaker; but a story that needed to be told found him.

The story of Welles Crowther was shared with him over lunch one day: On September 11, 2001, Welles was 24 and worked in the World Trade Center. The acts of heroism he displayed that day have inspired song lyrics, parents to name their children after him and President Obama’s dedication speech for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Matt created the documentary Man in Red Bandana to inspire the world to be more selfless. Today, Matt shares about the heroic final hour of Welles’s life + how we can learn to live more inspired through the example of the “man in the red bandana.”

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  • Matt Weiss directed Man in Red Bandana, a documentary that tells the story of Welles Crowther, a young American who became a hero at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Matt was a lawyer, inspired by a story. He spent his time and money turning Welles story into a film so the world might learn to be more selfless.
  • Matt is an entrepreneur and is inspired by entrepreneurs like Elon Musk [Tesla], Jeff Bezos [Amazon] & Simon Sineck [Start with Why].
  • On Sept. 11, 2001, Welles put out fires, carried a woman down 17 flights of stairs, went back up + saved the lives of 18 people.
  • 10,000+ people ran / left the building. It’s incredible he stayed.
    • “He wasn’t trapped, he chose stay and to help others.”
  • 9/11 was his finest hour, but he spent his life putting others first.
  • This story will inspire people to be more selfless. “Even just small acts like holding the door open for someone behind you; wait a little longer and hold the door open for them.”
    • No one who knew him was surprised that he stayed to help others.
  • Welles’s parents + the Michigan foundation created the Red Bandana Project in his honor.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The E Myth, by Michael Gerber.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do with it?  I would definitely help people. I’d be the perfect guy for that to happen to.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My family photos and videos; to me everything else can be replaced.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Elon Musk. This guy is a rock star. The guy is just phenomenal.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? It is about gratitude and being grateful. That shift of being grateful is tremendous.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20? Live every day like it is your last. Take it all in.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? He was a selfless giving guy who really cared about others.


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I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day. Live Inspired.

Live Inspired with John every day on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram and get his Monday Motivation email: www.JohnOLearyInspires.com/Monday-Morning

2 replies on “Live Inspired Podcast: S7 | Ep. 76 Man in Red Bandana”

This morning as I absentmindedly scrolled through my social media page, I told myself I can’t believe it has been 20 years,
and then I happen to see your page. Your podcast was perfect to tune into as I did my weekend chores.
I have a son who is 24. He and so many other young people amaze me with their willingness to help others. Thank you for the story of Welles. On this somber day, his story shines warmth into my heart.

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