Local history series shares little known stories of the life and accomplishments of Pat Tillman, former ASU and Arizona Cardinals player and Army Ranger   

Oct. 1, 2018
Corporal Pat Tillman

Hear the story behind one of Arizona's most iconic names in modern sports history on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, with “NFL Star to Army Ranger – A Closer Look at the Life of Pat Tillman.” The program will be held at 10:30 a.m., at the Downtown Chandler Library, 22 S. Delaware St.  

California native Pat Tillman entered the spotlight playing for the Arizona State University Sun Devils football team in the late 1990s, where he excelled in the defensive backfield and as a high performing student. In 1998 he joined the Arizona Cardinals and soon after set a team record for number of tackles in a season.

In 2002 Tillman put aside the celebrity and riches of a NFL career to enlist in the U.S. Army with his younger brother Kevin. They joined the 75th Ranger Regiment and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two years later, Tillman was killed in action in eastern Afghanistan in an incident of "friendly fire." His post 9/11 patriotic actions and his death gained immediate national attention, overshadowing his personal story. Beyond the publicity surrounding his life story, Tillman's actions and character have inspired a legacy of service impacting Arizonans and beyond. 

Join us for a historical perspective on the life of Pat Tillman, featuring individuals who knew him and who have been inspired by his service. Danny Pritchard will recount stories of military service in the Army with Pat, and childhood friend Frank Ugenti will share his memories from their youth. Dr. Andrew Barnes will highlight Pat’s academic life and his interest in history, and Karen Gallagher, Tillman Foundation scholar, ambassador, and U.S. Army Airborne veteran, will underscore Pat’s legacy of service. The program will be moderated by Nancy Dallett, Assistant Director of the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement.

This program is in partnership with the ASU Pat Tillman Veteran’s Center and Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement.

In December, the series will examine some of the lesser known local stories of the Korean War in “Voices from the Korean War: Prisoners and the Missing.” This program features a first-hand account from local veteran Arden Rowley, revealing his ordeal as POW in North Korea, as well as Dr. Yuri McKee, who will cover the history of efforts to return MIA soldiers from North Korea still missing since the 1950s.

Our Stories presents diverse speakers who share unique Arizona and local history topics to a general audience throughout the year. This series is produced by the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Museum, with support from the Friends of the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Historical Society

For more information on the upcoming series, call 480-782-2751, or visit chandlerlibrary.org.