Kirk M. Bauer, JD, has been CEO of Disabled Sports USA since 1982. A combat wounded veteran from the Vietnam war, he was twice awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and is the recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds in combat, which resulted in amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Bauer firmly believes that the military philosophy of leadership by example is the most effective way to inspire others to dream big and achieve their goals. True to this philosophy, at 68, he regularly participates in mountain climbing, cycling including the one day, 100 mile “Three Notch Century Ride”, skiing, golf and hiking, including the annual Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile Marathon hike in the deserts of southern New Mexico.
In 2010, Bauer led a team of amputee veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which at 19,341 feet is the highest mountain in Africa. The team included double leg amputees, with Bauer having the only good leg between them. In 2015, he led an all wounded veteran team up Mt. Aconcagua, which at 23,000’ elevation, is the tallest in South America. Part of the team reached the summit with Bauer turning back at 20,000’.
Throughout his life, Bauer has been dedicated to promoting sports for people with disabilities. For his work, he has received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition; “The George Steinbrenner Sports Leadership Award” from the U.S. Olympic Committee; and received a Presidential Appointment to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (Link). Bauer was appointed by President Bush to represent the USA in the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in Torino and the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing.
For his work and personal feats, Bauer has been featured on programs such as HBO “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”; ESPN “Outside the Lines”; NBC Nightly News “Making A Difference”; CBS Early Show; National Public Television and National Public Radio; Armed Forces Network; FOX and Friends and CNN. He has also been featured in various articles published in numerous newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and New York Times.
Kirk holds a Doctorate of Law Degree from Boston University School of Law and a BA in Political Science from the University of California. He is a native of Oakland, California and now lives near Baltimore, Maryland. His son, Joshua, is 29.