Wrestling with Angels: A True Story of Addiction, Resurrection, Hope, Fashion, Training Celebrities, and Man’s Oldest Sport by John Hanrahan
Publication Date: 2020
In 1984, John Hanrahan was featured in Interview magazine's iconic Olympic Issue as one of America's top athlete's vying for a spot on the US Olympic Team. He had come within a point of defeating the mighty Soviet world medalist and had defeated other international competitors. He had a shot at a lifelong dream, but then abandoned the final trials. The coach searched frantically for him at LaGuardia airport. He was nowhere to be found. He hadn't exactly fallen off the face of the earth; his face was appearing in worldwide ad campaigns as a top fashion model―but he’d become crippled by addiction, unable to face his competition, and unwilling to confront the severity of his situation. Then, in 1985, Hanrahan died from an overdose. He went to a divine place while a doctor worked frantically to revive him. He was shown the prayers of loved ones and given another chance at life, and he feels he came back for a reason… He returned wanting to shout his story from the rooftops, but was unable to fully share his experiences to help others. He was shackled by the stigma of being judged as an addict, and it wasn’t until he nearly lost his own son to the ravages of addiction that he broke through and gained the strength and courage to tell his story. He describes how he continued to work amidst the craziness of the world fashion markets―Milan, Paris, Zurich, Tokyo, and New York―while trying to find his way toward exorcising the demons of his past and gaining a life worthy of the one he had miraculously regained. He transformed himself to become the trusted personal trainer to influential New Yorkers, such as John Kennedy Jr., Julia Roberts, Howard Stern, Natasha Richardson, Diane Sawyer, Rosie O’Donnell, Mercedes Ruehl, Betty Buckley, and Joan Lunden. He moved his family west and quickly corralled a high-powered Hollywood client base, including Patricia Heaton, David Geffen, Tim Burton, Sandy Gallin, Tara Reid, Beverly DeAngelo, Annabella Sciorra, Cyndi Lauper, Donald De Line, Amy Pascal, Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd, Davis Guggenheim and Graydon Carter…all while keeping his past a secret.