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Marty Ravellette

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Title: Marty Ravellette  
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Subject: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Marty Ravellette

Marty Ravellette (1939–12 November 2007) lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and gained national fame for flourishing in life despite being born without arms. He was born in Indiana. His parents, unable to deal with his handicap sent him to live in an orphanage at a young age. As a boy he loved to swim, winning many medals in diving. Later he worked as a truck driver, steering with his left foot and pressing pedals with his right. He ran his own landscaping business called "Hands on Landscaping."

Ravellette frequently appeared as a motivational speaker at the University of North Carolina, using stories of his life and physical challenges to underpin larger lessons on the benefits of diversity, justice, equality, and the unity of humankind. Inspired by his beliefs as a long-time member of the Baha’i Faith, he would often quote one of his favorite lines from the Baha’i Sacred Writings: “Noble have I created thee; why hast thou abased thyself.”

He received considerable recognition for two great achievements, cutting up a tree during a hurricane with a chainsaw and, in 1998, helping rescue a woman from her burning car, using his feet to break the windows. He is featured in the Bill Hayes one-hour Discovery Channel documentary film "No Arms Needed: A Hero Among Us," which continues to be shown around the world. He was recognized as Handicapped Person of the Year in North Carolina and Oregon.

Marty Ravellette died in 2007. He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Nielsen and his two grandsons Marcus Nielsen and Aaron Nielsen.

External links

  • "Obituary – Marty Ravellette". The Carrboro Citizen. 
  • "Marty Ravellette, 1939-2007". The Independent Weekly. 
  • "No Arms Needed: A Hero Among Us". Figure 8 Films. 

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