Meet Richard Shane

2016-06-07

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Richard Shane founded The World’s Greatest Vacations in 1991 after years as an advertising account executive in New York, working on accounts such as American Express, Kodak, and TWA. Back then, he sent faxes after 5 p.m. to save money on rates.
Now, faxes are almost history—and The World’s Greatest Vacations is celebrating its 25th year in business. Meet the world traveler, former semi-pro baseball player, and “medical miracle” who lives in New York City, Aspen, and L.A., and regularly takes his boat out on the Hudson River towards the Statue of Liberty to thank God for everything life has given him.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m the second of three boys. I grew up on Long Island, a native New Yorker. My parents are still married; just celebrated 60 years. I was a competitive wrestler for six years; and a semi-pro baseball player ‘till I was 22.

My greatest passions today are skiing—for the past 20 years I’ve spent two months out of the year in Aspen—boating here in Manhattan, marathon running, and assisting health-related charities.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new city?
Look at the horizon and work my way in. Panoramic, then close-ups… that’s how to understand where you are. Then, walk and walk. (Or jog, weather permitting and if training for a marathon.) Best way to see a new place.

Last thing you do?
Go to a favorite restaurant of the locals, or my own if it’s a repeat visit.

Tell us about being a ‘medical miracle.’
After 22 years and 3,000 seizures, brain surgery at NYU has made me one of a handful of people cured of epilepsy. No side effects other than tremendous gratitude.

My greatest passion is helping others get this same blessing. I run the New York Marathon every year for epilepsy, to raise awareness and money.

I keep a boat here in Manhattan named Freedom of the Seize. I take it out probably five times a week. I watch the sun set behind Lady Liberty and circle Manhattan Island, go up the Hudson River, go all along the Long Island coast. That’s a great way to enjoy New York.

As a New Yorker, what’s your favorite dish to eat?
Let’s see. My mother knows how to make a great chicken parmigiana! There’s love to it. It’s pounded, fresh chicken, lots of garlic, lots of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, garlic bread, and french fries… mmm.

A neighborhood restaurant which I love is Bella Blu, Upper East Side of New York. You can ask them for anything—doesn’t have to be on the menu—and they’ll make it. Including chicken parmigiana. (chuckling) But not as good as my mother’s.

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