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Richard Bangs' Quests

Ralph Franklin Posted by Ralph Franklin in Blogs March 4th, 2015


Richard Bangs

“I would rather die trying something new than live a long life of mediocrity.” So says Richard Bangs, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, producer and host of the award-winning TV series Adventure With Purpose.


Bangs, who lives in Southern California, has spent 40 years as an explorer and filmmaker. Today he is known as the “father of modern adventure travel.”
He was the first to run 35 perilous rivers around the globe, including the Yangtze in China where deaths from drowning can range in the hundreds every year; and the Zambezi in Southern Africa which include one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Victoria Falls. During that period he founded Sobek Expeditions, the first multi-national river running company. Sobek Expeditions is also the outfitter for global active wilderness travel.
Bangs, who is known as the "Father of
modern adventure travel."
Bangs has published more than 1000 magazine articles, 19 books including, “Riding the Dragon's Back, which was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book of 1989. It chronicled the first descents of the Yangtze. He has numerous documentaries and has lectured at the Smithsonian, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club plus many other notable venues. Bangs also writes a semi-regular feature for Huffington, occasionally freelances for other print and online publications, and produces and hosts “Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose, as seen on National Public Television.

In the early 1990s Sobek merged with Mountain Travel to become Mountain Travel-Sobek. Then as now it is a leader in international adventure and eco-travel. He began TerraQuest, one of the first online travel projects, and went on to Microsoft as founder and editor-in-chief of Mungo Park, a pioneering interactive publishing effort. He was part of the founding executive team of, and served as its Editor-at-Large. He was creator and publisher of Expedia Travels Magazine (published in partnership with Ziff-Davis), executive producer of Expedia Radio, and founder and executive director of Expedia Cafes.

He has also served as president of Outward Bound; created the “Well Traveled” series for; was founding editor and executive producer of MSNBC's "Great Escape"; and produced, "Richard Bangs Adventures" for Yahoo!



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