Mary Tillman

Recently the 20-year war in Afghanistan came to an end. Have his given all of us time to reflect on those two decades.

We also remember the 23 hundred or so US servicemen and women who died in Afghanistan.

One of them, in particular, drew public attention. Then-27 year-old Army Ranger, and former NFL star, Pat Tillman was killed in 2004.

But that tragedy was compounded when the Pentagon apparently attempted to cover up the circumstances of his death.

Mary Tillman on C-SPAN

It eventually was revealed that he was killed by a so-called “friendly fire.”

A few years later, Pat Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, wrote a book about her son and her fight with the Pentagon. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 2008, Mary Tillman:

Pat Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and a Purple Heart.

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091521 Mary Tillman

Betty DeGeneres

Photo: Danlev / Dan Leveille

We learned recently that daytime TV’s Ellen DeGeneres Show is coming to an end next year after 19 seasons.

Her show made its debut just a couple of years after I met and interviewed her mom, Betty DeGeneres.

In 1999, Betty published a book called “Love, Ellen,” a memoir of her relationship with her famous daughter — and the challenges both mother and daughter experienced when Ellen revealed her sexual orientation.

Betty DeGeneres celebrated her 91st birthday last week.

Betty Mahmoody

Happy Mothers Day weekend to all the moms listening right now.

Today, the story of one exceptionally courageous mom.

Her name is Betty Mahmoody. In the mid-1980s she accompanied her her iranian-born husband back to his native country for what she thought would be a two-week vacation.

But instead of returning to the US, her husband informed her that they would be living permanently in Iran. And that was just the beginning of the ordeal for her and the couple’s four-year-old daughter Mahtob.

Betty Mahmoody tells the story of what happened over the next 18 months in her best-selling book Not Without My Daughter. Her book was later made into a major Motion Picture starring Sally Field as Betty Mahmoody.

So here now, from 1988, Betty Mahmoody…

Betty Mahmoody will be 76 next month. She is President and co-founder of One World: For Children.

Her daughter In 2015, Mahtob Mahmoody wrote her own book about her and her mother’s escape from Iran.

Grace George Corrigan

Tomorrow is January 28, and if you are old enough, you undoubtedly have a clear memory of exactly where you were 35 years agp, on January 28, 1986.

That was the day of that horrible tragedy, the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger.

Among the crew members was teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who had won a nationwide competition to become the first teacher in space.

Watching the liftoff in person that day was Christa McAuliffe’s mother, Grace George Corrigan.

A few years later, Corrigan wrote a book about her daughter, and that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1993, Grace George Corrigan.

Christa’s father died in 1990,

Grce George Corrigan died in 2018 at athe age of 94.


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Georgia Holt

Mothers are always proud when their children are successful, and especially so when their grown children become entertainment stars.

One such mom is Georgia Holt, whose daughter is one of those rare performers who is such a star she’s known by just one name — Cher.

I met Georgia Holt in 1988, after she had written a book called “Star Mothers.” which told not only her story and Cher’s, but the mothers of many otgher stars.
Here now, from 19o88, Georgia Holt:

Georgia Holt is 94 now. Cher will be 74 in a couple of weeks.

Judy Shepard

Mother’s Day is next Sunday, so this week on “Now I’ve Heard Everything we’re featuring interviews with and about mothers.

Matthew Shepard

Today, a loving and devoted mother who suffered a devastating and very public loss.

On October 6, 1998, a 22-year-old gay University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tortured, and died six days later.

Two other young men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were later arrested, tried, and convicted in Matthew Shepard’s death.

After her son’s murder, Judy Shepard took on a new role as advocate for the LGBT community.

She created the Matthew Shepard Foundation and lobbied for anti-hate crime legislation.

I met Judy Shepard some 11 years after her son’s death, when she wrote a book about him. So here now, from 2009, Judy Shepard.

Less than a month after our interview, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama a few days later.