The man captured in one of the most iconic images of the Boston Marathon bombing is ready to tell his story.
27-year-old Jeff Bauman, who was in the crowd cheering on his girlfriend as she ran the marathon in April, became the face of the tragedy for many when he lost both legs in the attack near the finish line, and was photographed being carried away from the wreckage by Carlos Arredondo.
Despite the trauma he has lived through, the New Hampshire native has stayed positive, and has since gained a pair of state-of-the-art prosthetics, a lifelong friend, a renewed sense of purpose, and now, a book deal.
Via his official Facebook fan page on Wednesday, Bauman announced that Grand Central Publishing will publish his memoir "Stronger" in April 2014. The date was chosen to coincide with the first anniversary of the bombing.
“We are very excited about this project,” Matthew Ballast, the Vice President and Director of Publicity for Grand Central, told TODAY.com. “He’s telling his story for the first time — his experiences, his recovery, and how the city of Boston helped him recover.” Ballast adds that Bauman is currently working with a co-writer to make sure he doesn’t leave out any important details.
Bauman, who is pursuing a new career as a motivational speaker, already has some famous fans. Actor Bradley Cooper and New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman both visited Bauman in the hospital, with Edelman tweeting a photo of them together with the hashtags “hero” and “survivor.”
While in the hospital, Bauman also cooperated with the FBI and provided crucial details — including a description of suspect Dzohkar Tsarnaev, which helped lead to his arrest.
Despite his accolades, Bauman defers to the person he thinks is a hero: Carlos Arredondo. Though the two men didn’t know each other before the bombing, Bauman credits Arredondo, a Costa Rican-American peace activist, for helping save his life. “He’s the one who picked me up off the ground,” Bauman told TODAY in July.
The two have remained close friends, and Arredondo will definitely be featured in "Stronger." “Every time I see him, it’s so uplifting,” Bauman says of his pal.
Bauman also told TODAY that he refused to let the bombing’s effects get in the way of his life, foreshadowing the title of his upcoming book.
“I’m stronger, way stronger,” he said in July. “I’m a quick healer. They were calling me ‘Wolverine.’”