Mark K. Bingham, 31, was a 6-foot-5 rugby player, founder of a successful public relations firm and world traveler who ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, this summer.
He had recently moved to New York from San Francisco and was returning to the Bay Area on Flight 93 to visit family. He called his aunt and mother, United Airlines flight attendant Alice Hoglan, from the hijacked plane, saying things didn't look good and that he loved them all.
His relatives believe Bingham played a role in thwarting the hijackers. "We think he helped cause it to crash in the woods instead of the White House or somewhere else," his uncle Linden Hoagland said.
A UC Berkeley graduate who grew up in Los Gatos south of San Jose, Bingham started his own technology public relations firm, the Bingham Group, which had offices in San Francisco and New York.
Last year, he helped recruit and train members of San Francisco's first gay rugby team. "He was upbeat, inspiring, a great guy," teammate Bryce Eberhart said.
He is survived by his mother, aunt, three uncles, his maternal grandparents and cousins.
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