Winter Park Institute

Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly

Former U.S. Congresswoman and retired astronaut and Navy Captain


Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly: Endeavor to Succeed

Event Details

The lives of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly became forever changed after the nearly fatal 2011 assassination attempt on her life. In the face of such devastating trauma, the couple has transformed adversity into an unwavering commitment to each other and a message of hope.


Speaker Bio

Current as of

Mark Kelly is a retired American astronaut, U.S. Navy Captain, and the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He was a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and flew 39 combat missions over Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Kelly has spent more than 50 days in orbit and was the commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour in May of 2011 on its final flight. During his final space mission, his wife Gabby Giffords was recovering in a hospital in Houston, Texas. In 2011, Mark was featured on the cover of Esquire magazine and honored as one of the "Americans of the Year."

Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords was a Congresswoman elected from Arizona's 8th District. She served from 2007 until her resignation in January of 2012 following an attempted assassination at a supermarket in Tucson in January of 2011. The only female elected official in the history of the United States to become the target of an assassination attempt, Giffords was just the third woman to be elected to Congress from the State of Arizona. She also served in the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate and was the CEO of her family's business. In March of 2014, Fortune magazine named Giffords one of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders."

Kelly and Giffords wrote a book about Giffords' struggle to survive and ultimately conquer her injuries entitled GABBY: A Story of Courage and Hope. The inspirational memoir has topped multiple best-seller lists, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon. They are the first couple to be honored as Glamour magazine's "Couple of the Year."