OUT IN PRINT

Gabrielle Giffords Hero Daniel Hernandez: “I Did What I Thought Anyone Should Have Done”

I had been approached by a few publishers a month or so after the incident. But the message they wanted me to convey—what it felt like to be a celebrity—was not something I was comfortable with. I don’t consider myself a hero. On that day, I did what I thought anyone should have done. Heroes are people who spend a lifetime committed to helping others. And I don’t like talking about myself, which may sound odd since I’ve done about 1,400 interviews since the incident. But I don’t like being in the spotlight. I prefer being in the background.

…It was the fact that [gays and Latinos] don’t have many role models that drove me to even consider writing about myself. As a Latino person and now as a young elected official, I’ve faced some big challenges, and I want young people and adults to know that they need to overcome challenges and become involved their communities.”

Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern who kept Rep. Gabrielle Giffords alive until paramedics could arrive on the scene, discussing his upcoming autobiography, They Call Me a Hero: A Memoir of My Youth, which will be available from Simon and Schuster in February.