Indiana State University Newsroom

Paralympian and author Bonnie St. John to speak at Indiana State

December 14, 2015

Despite having her right leg amputated at age 5, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

St. John has achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. She is a best-selling author, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner and a Fortune 500 leadership consultant. She will speak at Indiana State University's Tilson Auditorium at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 as part of the 2015-16 University Speakers Series. The event is free and open to the public.

St. John graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1986, and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, taking a Master of Letters degree in economics. Upon her return to the United States, St. John was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director for human capital issues on the White House National Economic Council.

Today, she travels the globe as a leadership consultant, keynote speaker and facilitator for international summit conferences for senior-level executives. She frequently donates personal appearances to schools, homeless shelters, community groups and other organizations in hundreds of locations while traveling for corporate clients. In 2010, St. John once again represented the United States as a member of President Obama's official delegation to the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

The celebrated author of six books, St. John co-authored her most recent best-seller, "How Great Women Lead," with her teenage daughter, Darcy. Together they traveled around the world on an extraordinary mother-daughter journey into the lives, and life lessons, of fascinating women leaders including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, as well as fashion designers, CEOs and women's rights activists.

St. John has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: Today, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, PBS, NPR and The New York Times, as well as People, "O" and Essence magazines.

NBC Nightly News called her one of the five most inspiring women in America. She was recently inducted into the National Association of Women Business Owners Hall of Fame.


Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or