Larry Brilliant has led a life that lives up to his name. He’s marched with Dr. King, played a leading role in eradicating smallpox in India, pioneered Silicon Valley giving as director of Google’s philanthropic arm, launched the Seva Foundation to help blind people see again, and is now tackling social crises such as climate change and water security through his work at Skoll Global Threats Fund. But what is truly remarkable about Brilliant and his extraordinary experiences is their reminder that real progress in improving the lives of others is possible.
Brilliant shares his odyssey with the world in “Sometimes Brilliant,” (HarperOne, October 2016), an inspiring memoir about one man’s mission to heal the world.
“There is so much hate and vitriol you would think we were living in a dystopian age where there is no reason for optimism,” said Brilliant in a recent interview. “My life has shown me the opposite. I’ve had thousands of children die in my arms. [Yet] I saw the very last case of small pox. How could I not be optimistic? That is the duty I have.”
Described as a “rare bridge between science and spirituality,” Brilliant’s book offers a bright spot at a moment when many of us are skeptical about the future of our world. His story – of what happens when love, compassion and determination meet the right circumstances to effect positive change – is the kind that keeps hope alive.
“I see the world as a rainbow of faces. The whole is stronger when we are united. The world needs all of us working together,” says Brilliant.