John O'Leary
President, Live Inspired

In 1987, John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. John was given a one percent chance to survive.

John’s experience, previously kept private, was showcased when his parents wrote the book, Overwhelming Odds, as a thank you to the family and friends who supported them on their journey. This book resulted in organizations around the world requesting to hear first-hand how John defied the odds.
To meet the growing requests and in recognizing his calling to be a change agent of hope and overcoming adversity, John started Rising Above, a lifestyle organization, in 2008.

Today John shares his message with more than 100,000 people each year around the world in healthcare, sales, marketing, financial services, education, spirituality and safety. John is consistently given industry-defying gold stars for his emotional storytelling, genuine humor and his ability to empower audiences to take back their lives and change their world.

John intimately illustrates how the greatest challenges can be transformed into outstanding growth. His presentations are described as captivating and life-changing.

John provides keynote presentations, break-out sessions, half, full-day, online workshops and two-day retreats. He was honored with the Members’ Choice Speaker Award, 2011 from Vistage International.
In 2012, John launched Rising Above online programs to help his audiences stay empowered after his keynote. His free online program, Spark! 21 Day Challenge to Ignite Your Possibility, is available to the public and can be accessed at John’s first book will be released in 2014.
John is a husband and father of four and currently resides in St. Louis, MO.


“You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.” – John O’Leary