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Lee Ellis Biography Details:

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Lee Ellis | Co-Author

Lee is Founder and President of Leading with Honor® and FreedomStar Media®. He is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and speaker in the areas of leadership and human performance. His past clients include Fortune 500 executives and C-Level leaders in a broad range of business and military sectors. His media appearances include interviews on CNN, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, ABC World News, and Fox News.

Early in his career, Lee served as an Air Force fighter pilot flying 53 combat missions over North Vietnam. In 1967, he was shot down and held as a POW for more than five years in Hanoi and surrounding camps. For his wartime service he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and POW Medal. Lee resumed his Air Force career, serving in leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including command of a flying squadron and two leadership training organizations before retiring as a colonel.

Lee has a BA in History and an MS in Counseling and Human Development. He has authored or coauthored six books on leadership and career development; two of which have received multiple awards. One is now available as an online leadership and team development course for in-house training of teams and leadership groups.

In 2014, Lee was inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was a DAR Medal of Honor Recipient for a lifetime of patriotic service.

Lee and his wife Mary celebrate their differences. By respecting each other and listening to the other’s perspective they make a great team. They are now celebrating 48 years of a very happy marriage. They reside north of Atlanta, near the Blue Ridge mountains. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Condensed Biography: 

Lee Ellis is president of Leading with Honor®, a leadership and team development training and coaching company. He serves Fortune 500 senior executives in the areas of hiring, teambuilding, human performance, and succession planning. His media appearances include interviews on networks such as CNN, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, ABC World News, and Fox News Channel. As a fighter pilot in Vietnam, he was shot down, captured and repatriated in 1973 after more than five years as a POW in Hanoi. He resumed his Air Force career, eventually retiring as a Colonel. In 2014, Lee was inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was a DAR Medal of Honor Recipient for a lifetime of patriotic service as a military officer and spokesman for leading with honor. Lee has authored six books, and his upcoming new book is entitled Captured by Love: Inspiring True Romance Stories from Vietnam POWs.

Greg Godek | Co-Author

Jay Leno joked about Greg Godek’s first book in his monologue: “There’s a new book called ‘1001 Ways to be Romantic.’ That’s an awful lot of ways! I mean, guys—if the first thousand ways don’t work…what are the chances she’s gonna stick around when you say, ‘Oh wait! One more!’?!” Appearances on “The Today Show” and articles in “The Sunday New York Times” and “Cosmo,” plus his record-breaking booksigning tour (two years aboard a custom RV, visiting 287 bookstores in 43 states) made Greg’s book a #1 bestseller, with three million copies sold.

Greg’s first dozen books were creative romps through romantic love. But his latest book, coauthored with Top Gun pilot and Vietnam POW Col. Lee Ellis, has taken his work into deeper and more profound waters. “With Captured by Love we had the unexpected insight that the same skills and beliefs that allowed our POWs to survive inhumane treatment and unspeakable tortures—over five to eight years—are the same skills and beliefs that are necessary for couples to create what we call ‘Happily Ever After Marriages’. I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to interview 20 couples and widows and widowers (between the ages of 78 and 94) who have lived extraordinary lives and have created some the strongest and happiest marriages I have come across in more than 40 years of relationship work.”

Greg’s guiding conviction is that love is an emotion, while romance is an action. “Without action, love is merely a nice idea.” Looking back on his life, career and passion, he observes that, “My life has pretty much been a living laboratory exploring and experiencing the joys and sorrows of couplehood.” Through the writing of Captured by Love, coauthors Greg and Lee were delighted to see a series of “Love Lessons” emerge organically from the love stories they were capturing for posterity.

Tony Orlando | Foreword Author

Tony is one of America’s most endearing and iconic entertainers. He continues to bring exhilarating energy, warmth, and humor to a tour of live concert shows across the nation as he celebrates over six decades in the entertainment business.

Grammy Nominee Tony Orlando has sold millions of records, including Five #1 hits. He has 2 Platinum and 3 Gold albums and 15 Top 40 Hits. His smash hit (with Dawn) “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” was the Billboard top song of 1973 and became Orlando’s theme song. It has grown into an American anthem of hope, homecoming, and renewal.

Tony has performed for our armed services around the globe and raised millions of dollars for veteran organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Eisenhower Foundation as well as Tribute to Valor Foundation, an organization that inspires, impacts, and influences young people.
Tony’s musical career has reached the pinnacle of success in recording, television, and the live stage. Tony has performed for five U.S. Presidents. He is the recipient of The Bob Hope Award for excellence in entertainment from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, honoring his efforts on behalf of our nation’s veterans.

Tony was also the General Manager and VP of CBS-Music Division, April-Blackwood Music, from 1966 to 1970. He represented such songwriters and groups as James Taylor, Laura Nyro, and Blood Sweat and Tears. He also signed and produced Barry Manilow’s first recording and represented James Taylor’s music publishing while working for the legendary Clive Davis.

The enormously popular Tony Orlando and Dawn television variety show ran for four seasons, from 1973 to 1977, on CBS. The singers still rank among the Top 100 Billboard Magazine artists of All-Time.

Tony is a recipient of three American Music Awards and two People’s Choice Awards for Best Male Entertainer. Five times he has been awarded the Casino Entertainer of the Year Award, as the “Best All Around Entertainer” in Las Vegas, and received that same award four times in Atlantic City.
Tony has a wife, Francine, a daughter, Jenny, and a son, Jon.

Learn more at TonyOrlando.com.

Gary Sinise | Foreword Author

Gary Sinise’s stage, film, and television career has spanned more than four decades. For his performance as Lt Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, he received nominations for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards, and earned the Best Supporting Actor Award from the National Board of Review. Other film credits include Apollo 13, Ransom, Snake Eyes, Impostor, The Green Mile, Mission to Mars, The Human Stain, and Of Mice and Men.

He starred as Jack Garrett on the series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and for nine seasons as Detective “Mac” Taylor on the hit series CSI: NY, both of which aired on CBS. Sinise is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and two-time SAG Award winner for his roles in Truman and George Wallace.
Though he has achieved considerable fame as an actor, Gary has also become well known as an advocate on behalf of America’s service members. In 2003, after several USO handshake tours, he formed the “Lt. Dan Band” and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad. Over the years, the band has performed hundreds of shows for charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans, and active-duty troops around the world. Sinise has contributed his time on over 100 USO tours and in support of multiple veteran nonprofits over the years.

To expand upon his individual efforts, in 2011 he established the Gary Sinise Foundation with the mission to serve and honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

For his humanitarian work he has received many honors including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation. He is only the third actor ever to receive this award.

You can read his personal story in his 2019 autobiography and New York Times Bestseller, Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service. Learn more about Gary at GarySinise.com and his foundation website at Garysinisefoundation.org.

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