Philippe Pozzo di Borgo

2 October 2013

AWARD’S REASON

Anna Chromy and the Directors of the Institute are assured that Philippe Pozzo di Borgo can be rightly considered a “Conscience” of our times.

Quadriplegic Philippe Pozzo di Borgo says people need to take better care of each other. He may rely on a caregiver, but does everything he can to help others. He is surprisingly energetic. He’s just gotten off the plane after a strenuous flight from Morocco to Cologne, but insists he’s feeling “very well as always.” Anyone who’s read his book, “A Second Wind: The True Story that Inspired the Motion Picture ‘The Intouchables,’” knows that below-zero temperatures like those in Cologne right now can cause unbearable pain for quadriplegics. Pozzo di Borgo makes no secret of his aristocratic background. In his autobiography, which first appeared in France in 2001, he wrote that he had grown up in an aristocratic family in France and had been born “with a golden spoon in his mouth.” He was at home in castles and later, as manager of a champagne empire, he led a fast-paced jet-set lifestyle. Until a paragliding accident in 1993. At the age of 42, he began the next chapter of his life – confined to a wheelchair. Money is not an issue, but that’s the only aspect of his previous life that hasn’t changed. The second half of his life has been marked with loss, pain and readjustment. Three years after his accident, his wife Béatrice died of cancer. Biography