Cyril Richard Rescorla, also known as Rick Rescorla, was a British-born American Army officer and private security guard. He participated in the Vietnam War as an Army commissioned officer. He also worked as a member of the Northern Rhodesia Police in Northern Rhodesia (NRP). He worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center after leaving the military. In this capacity, Rick Rescorla foresaw tower assaults and put evacuation plans into place, saving many lives during the 9/11 attacks. Sadly, he perished while directing the South Tower of Trade Center evacuees during the terrible strikes. Later, the great hero received several praises for his valor, enthusiasm, and incredible foresight. Rescorla was a writer and a lawyer in addition to being an army veteran and a security expert. He earned his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law, spent some time teaching criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, and even wrote a book on the subject. Rescorla, as a person, was a romantic who cherished his second wife tenderly. He frequently admired her and wrote her love poems. He was a caring parent and a dedicated husband.
Early Childhood & Life
On May 27, 1939, in Hayle, Cornwall, the United Kingdom, Rick Rescorla was born. His single mother and grandparents reared him.
When the Infantry Regiment of the US 29th Infantry Division made its headquarters in his hometown in 1943, he became interested in joining the army. Young Rescorla admired American soldiers and desired to serve in the military.
He excelled in sports and established a shot put record while he was a student. He also practiced boxing frequently.
The career of Rick Rescorla
Rick Rescorla, then 17 years old, left Hayle in 1956 to enlist in the British military. He joined the military the following year and later served in Cyprus from 1957 to 1960 with an intelligence unit. He worked as a paramilitary police inspector for the Northern Rhodesia Police (NRP) from 1960 to 1963.
After that, he went back to London and joined the Metropolitan Police. Rescorla attended Officer Candidate School and completed his airborne training at Fort Benning after completing his training at Fort Dix.
He joined the 2nd Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, and 7th Cavalry Regiment after graduating and rose to the position of platoon leader. After that, he relocated to Vietnam where he worked for Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore. 1965 saw the Battle of Ia Drang, in which the pair took part.
Rescorla left active duty the following year and rose to the rank of Colonel before retiring from the military in 1990.
He subsequently went back to the United States and utilized his military perks to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he eventually received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English. He also graduated from the Oklahoma City University School of Law with a law degree.
Following his relocation to South Carolina, the retired military officer started teaching criminal justice at the University of South Carolina. He spent three years there as a teacher.
Later, in search of better-paying positions in corporate security, he joined Dean Witter Reynolds’ offices in the World Trade Center in 1985. In 1997, Dean Witter and Morgan Stanley amalgamated, and as a result, the business occupied 22 levels in the South Tower. The South Tower’s 44th floor housed Rescorla’s office.
The September 11, 2001 Attacks
American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001. From his office window in the South Skyscraper of the Trade Center, Rescorla saw the tower burning. He disregarded the notice asking individuals to stay at their desks and began ordering the staff to leave after grabbing his walkie-talkie, cell phone, and bullhorn.
After the building shook as a result of a passenger plane accident in Tower 2, he kept everyone calm (the South Tower). By singing Cornish songs, Rescorla raised the spirits of his soldiers. Even his wife was contacted and instructed not to cry. The majority of Morgan Stanley employees were successfully evacuated, and he later went back inside the structure despite his concerns that the twin towers would collapse. Shortly before Tower 2 fell at 9:59 am, Rescorla, who had the least concern for his own life, started climbing. Three weeks following the attacks, he was pronounced dead. He never had his remains discovered.
Awards & Salutations
Rick Rescorla received the General Service Medal for his work in the British military.
He received a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the American military.
He was selected to be inducted into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in April 2001.
Rescorla received the White Cross of Cornwall from the revived Cornish Stannary Parliament in 2003.
At Fort Benning, Georgia, a statue honoring him was unveiled in 2008. Rescorla was admitted to the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in the same year.
Personal Legacy & Life
At the University of Oklahoma, Rick Rescorla first met Betsy Nathan, who would become his wife. In 1972, he married Nathan, with whom he had two children. This union ultimately ended in divorce.
The military soldier had surgery to remove his prostate after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis in 1994. The bone marrow had been affected by the malignancy by 1998. Rescorla received medical attention and even practiced meditation and traditional Chinese medicine.
In July 1998, he met Susan Greer, a Fairleigh Dickinson University assistant dean who had been divorced twice and was the mother of three girls. He wed Greer in St. Augustine, Florida, the following year.
Rescorla’s wife Susan, two children, and three stepdaughters all survived him.
Rescorla was an accomplished writer who enjoyed creating love poems for his wife Susan. While in New Jersey, he additionally attended playwriting lessons.
Susan, his wife, gave his Lincoln Mark VIII to be auctioned off for charity after his passing.
At the National September 11 Memorial and Museum’s South Pool, Panel S-46 honors the valiant military officer.
In his honor, the Department of Homeland Security established the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to “recognize the excellent response to a catastrophic catastrophe and leadership in developing resilient and prepared communities.”
James B. Stewart’s biography of the legendary soldier, “Heart of a Soldier,” published in 2002, was hailed by Time Magazine as “the best non-fiction book of the year.”
The main focus of the 2005 documentary “The Man Who Predicted 9/11” was Rescorla. Both the History Channel in the US and Channel 4 in the UK aired this movie.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Rick Rescorla is unknown.