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Why We Love Hugh Herr

ByTom MillerThe Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Click here for Hugh’s profile.

Hugh Herr lost his biological legs – below the knees – when he was a teenager. And now he makes bionic limbs. That should be enough reason to love him, but here are five more reasons:

1. After his amputations, his doctors were afraid to send him home because they knew he’d go rock-climbing.
2. When the doctors did let him go home, he went rock-climbing… of course.
3. Almost immediately – with no prior training – he began work on creating better prosthetics for himself.
4. His work now gives amputees back their legs and eases much of the other pain that came with their injuries.
5. Oh come on, isn’t it obvious? Check out his zebra pants in the picture below!

Why We Love Hugh Herr-hugh_with_leg_version_2.jpg
Young Hugh in zebra pants… making a better leg for himself then and for other people now.

And now, folks, our Hugh Herr haiku:

Young rock-climbing god
Winter’s freeze steals both his legs
Changed, he makes new ones.

Original funding for "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.