Tom Sullivan – known to many as an actor, singer, entertainer, author and producer – lives and works by “Sullivan’s Rules.” One of Sullivan’s first rules is that any negative can be turned into positive.
Born prematurely in 1947, Tom was given too much oxygen while in an incubator. Though it saved his life, it cost him his eyesight. The “inconvenience” of being blind has never kept Tom Sullivan from competing in a world where he realized that to be equal, for him, meant that he must be better. Even as he may have had to change the rules slightly, he has proven that one need not be limited by a handicap, whether it is playing backyard baseball as a youngster or any activity he’s pursued. Tom is an excellent golfer, an avid snow skier, remarkable marathon runner and has been inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Having spent the early part of his career pursuing his ambition as a singer and composer, Tom started out playing the piano in summer resorts in New England. He eventually gained national prominence with appearances on The Tonight Show, a major recording contract and a steady stream of gigs in Las Vegas and resorts around the country. Although music was his primary focus, Tom’s limitless energy and ambition would combine to lead him into a series of successes in the entertainment industry.
In 1975, Tom’s autobiography, ‘If You Could See What I Hear’, co-written with Derek Gill, took him on yet another journey, this time as an author. The story is an inspirational one of Tom’s college years at Providence College and then at Harvard. Ultimately, it is a true love story about his romance and marriage to his wife, Patty, and the beginning of a family that is to this day the most cherished part of his life. ‘If You Could See What I Hear’ became a major motion picture in 1982.
Tom has gone on to write more than a dozen books, both works of fiction and non-fiction. In 2007’s ‘Adventures in Darkness’, Tom takes readers through his monumental eleventh summer. The story is an inspirational one of Tom’s childhood in Boston. This book is a hair-raising, heart-warming experience that culminates in Tom’s determination to realize his dreams of a “normal” life.
Tom was a regular morning fixture to millions as special correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America. He also went on to be nominated for two Emmy Awards and has acted on TV series, such as Designing Women, Highway to Heaven, Fame, M*A*S*H, Mork & Mindy and WKRP in Cincinnati, just to name a few. But to create the characters and fulfill the role of a blind man on prime time he also helped write and develop many of these stories.
Thanks to Tom’s public life, he has been privileged to become one of America’s most sought-after motivational speakers, communicating with over 3,000 corporations around the world.
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