My Story

“Sam has a huge heart and a MACH-10 brain. He understands financial spreadsheets and hears the flowers singing.”

Sam Ingersoll was born at a very young age on February 29, 1972. His lugs flooded with water and he was without oxygen for about 20 minutes. Within a week, the doctors told his parents that they should “leave him at the hospital” because he would die, or be paralyzed, or retarded. They took him home and within 12 months he’d survived. The following story explains why he cares deeply about other people and is committed to helping them live happier lives.

In spite of what would later turn out to be brain damage that resulted in petimal seizures, Sam learned to read by the age of five. There was not a lot else to do but read, run away from the vicious rooster, and explore the outdoors in the backwoods of East Texas. Sam’s parents were the #2 and #3 leaders of the Children of God during it’s early years but soon moved on in search of a healthier “Christian Community” to California and then Washington State.

The Blessings of Poverty
In Washington as during the rest of Sam’s childhood, his family lived far below the poverty line. Dad took odd jobs while Mom raised 6 kids in a shack of a house built into a hill above the leach filled ponds the kids swam in during the summer. Sam recalls freezing at recess during the winter until a teacher replaced his thin vest with a poofy brown coat a story he would recall later when co-founding, “Real Diversity” 16 years later at Yale University.

Reading & Bullies
Poverty was filled with some riches. Sam’s Mom begged his way into piano lessons, ballet, and he starred as Tiny Tim in the community theater. The entire family, now living in the basement of a Church, would troop out of the library with stacks of books in each of their arms. When bullied by an older boy, Sam and his friend learned an important lesson when in desperation they stopped the tortures by kicking his ass.

At age 10 Sam’s parents made a decision that would dramatically change the direction of his life…

I haven’t had time to post the chapters from the (not 45 chapter) book, From Jail to Yale, I’m writing so I borrowed this from my Facebook page and the “25 Things about me” note that was going around.

Sam Ingersoll 1975 work“My lungs flooded with water and gooey stuff for 20 minutes and at the hospital later the Docs said I would die, be paralyzed or retarded.”

I haven’t had time to post the chapters from the (not 45 chapter) book, From Jail to Yale, I’m writing so I borrowed this from my Facebook page and the “25 Things about me” note that was going around.

sam ingersoll1. I was born at a very young age on February 29, 1972, LEAP YEAR…which explains #2-#25

2. My lungs flooded with water and gooey stuff for 20 minutes and at the hospital later the Docs said I would die, be paralyzed or retarded. I only had seizures until I was about 11 though. My parents were in a religous cult called the “Children of God” at the time and prayed a lot so maybe that helped.

3. Around 1st grade I took ballet and piano, and was the best Tiny Tim ever in Twisp, Washington. See my photo gallery for pics of me in a Leotard.

sam ingersoll King Sam of Sacul Texas4. Mostly, I read history and science fiction books…always wanting to escape, be a hero, and do important things. Never did much of that except for my kiddos though.

5. At a Christian (Bretheran) commune in Ohio we went “dipping” i.e. getting food from the grocery store dumpster which ended in my co-founding PAY (Poor at Yale) and “Real Diversity” in college. Bob Barnes and I advocated for financial aid and recruitment policies that Ivy League Universities did many years later.Sam Ingersoll Art Gish House in Ohio

6. I wanted to grow my hair long and be a rock star during the 80s, but settled for a Mullet and playing the clarinet in band….I was pretty good at that, and break-dancing which I still bust out at weddings if I drink enough.

7. When I visited Washington D.C. junior year, everyone else went shopping while I went to the Capital steps and thought, “I’m going to work here someday,” another dream that never came true…and I’m a better person for it.04_1986_088

8. I broke an egg on the Woodruff High School Dean’s head at our senior class party and he kicked me out of the Senior Class all-night Graduation party weeks later because of it. Had I known that would occur I would have given a very different prayer during graduation ceremony earlier in the day.

9. Our college room (“Cheers”) threw a party and I (“Sam”) downed a 5th of Vodka standing on the bar, climbed some scaffolding, feel down, punched a cop, and got booted out of the University Hospital for being disruptive at 3 a.m, and, oh yeah, got sent to the alcohol counselor that declared me an Alcoholic (ended up being not true but scared the crap out of me so I quit drinking and met my (now) wife who was the only other person not getting trashed frequently.

02_p_116-110. I ran for Student Body President twice, losing both times, and switching my major from PoliSci to Sociology. NEVER, EVER give up Art for Politics. (I wonder if that had to do with my jeans shorts and big ‘ol motorcycle I cruised around on.)

11. Zoe Baird, Clinton’s nominee for Attorney General that got booted for hiring an illegal hired me after the guy and the Press was after me to see if she paid her taxes. I would “neither confirm nor deny” what she did. The editor of hte Yale Daily News who grilled me, Dave Leonhardt, now works for the New York Times and just for the record, she did pay the taxes, but in January, which was appropriate I suppose.

12. God and I talked once. Yep. Sure did. Heard him clear as a bell…and actually talked back to him. I should have listened.Sam Ingersoll

13. I get nervous and my blood-pressure goes up when I see cop cars. This has to do with being chased by Rick Taylor, local police officer in Tiskilwa, Il, for running around after curfew when I was in junior high and high school.

14. I am foot-in-mouth-honest, the same way in every situation, and “easy to read”.

15. Someone told me I’m a “Giver.” I give, give, give, and love to share and help people, and when they don’t appreciate it or respect me, I get very resentful and bitter. It’s actually why I’ve had to restructure all my business work to protect myself from trying to help everyone.

P.S. This article about growing up “gifted” hah hah – helped me understand my, um, personal and professional difficulties, and may be relevent for you too if you constantly feel that other people don’t understand you.

Sam Ingersoll Wedding16. My biggest decision came after college when I chose to stay in a relationship with my (now) wife and move to San Diego. I knew this meant I would end up on the family path and never get to live the other 50% of me which would have involved lots of travel. maybe acting, and working political campaigns.

17. Our son Gabriel has Down syndrome. This plus #16 has had a HUGE impact on how I treat other people and how my life has turned out. View Gabriel’s Story here.

Sam Ingersoll The Apprentice Donald Trump18. I was sure to be a finalist to appear on The Apprentice but dropped out because I spent 3 days away from our daughter Emma who I stayed home with from the time we got her…and could physically feel the loss of not being with her…and there was NO WAY I could go away for 16 weeks of shooting in NYC.

P.S. 3 of my siblings have been on National Television (major news shows and MTV’s Road Rules.)

19. I love Therapy. We started when I was a little kid, and as an amateur pop-psychologist I love to talk about my “issues.” Sigh….I haven’t had one since we moved to PA about 3.5 years ago. Go try it. You’ll have FUN and it might even help.

20. I am 2nd oldest of 7 and LOVE babies and want 5 more. But, wife says she is, “Not a Baby Machine!” : (

Sam Ingersoll in Philadelphia

21. I once hired 42 Pakistani’s for 6 weeks at $1 per hour to run a Spam email campaign and if I ever put everything I know about internet marketing into a package and learned to charge people what it’s worth I’d make a ton of money, not work much, and be able to “Hire American.”  (That’s actually what I’m doing right now.)

22. The Credit Bureaus and credit card companies Dirty Tricks and sloppy business practices have cost you thousands of dollars in higher interest payments on mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and auto loans…and I can tell you how to stop them.

23. I really love to write and never have writers block. I do have “writer’s boredom” though when I don’t want to write down what I already know.

24. I’m a Problem Solver. I LOVE to figure out how to market businesses and make them more efficient….but once I know the solution I will get bored with the nitty gritty implementation…hence my partners and staff.

25. By the time I’m 40 I hope to focus on Gabriel’s Angel Network – the mission of which is to ensure that no parent with a child with a disability is ever without Hope and the Resources they need to live a healthier, happier life.

Sam Ingersoll Internet Advertising Book

Did you enjoy this?

Please comment below.