So it is probably apparent by now, that one of the main reasons I love travel is the enriching experience of meeting new and interesting people all over the world. I meet new people during real travel, in my daily ‘travels’ at home in Chicago and virtually, online by way of this blog mostly. I have realized how much I love connecting with people and sharing stories and ideas and inspiration. So it will come as no surprise that I chatted up the guy next to me on a recent flight to Philadelphia. He looked like a cross between Geraldo Rivera and Borat (see video clip below for his exclusive impersonation of Borat!) But, it turns out, this was no ordinary man. Not only was he THE most interesting (and funny) guy I had ever sat next to on a plane, I was in awe as we peeled back the layers and I learned whom I was really sitting next to. This was better than any celebrity; this was the real Indiana Jones. Holy cripes!
“Dino” Don Lessem is one of the world’s leading communicators, promoters, and philanthropists of natural science. His life and work is fascinating and he, too, is a traveler. We all travel in different ways and his work brings him around the world many times over.
He has created the world’s largest dinosaur exhibits, built the most popular of all traveling natural history exhibitions, written 50 books for adults and children, and was the advisor on the film, Jurassic Park,and Disney theme park attractions and movies. “Dino” Don has hosted and written NOVA and Discovery Channel documentaries and has answered 10,000 children’s letters as longtime Dinosaur Editor for the nation’s most popular children’s magazine, Highlights. This Dinosaur expert has appeared numerous times on the Today Show, National Public Radio, Good Morning America and CBS Morning News. Wow.
Don has raised more than $2 million for field excavations worldwide. He funded the excavation and reconstruction of the largest animal that ever lived, the 100 ton and 125 foot long Argentinosaurus, and the largest of all carnivores, the 45 foot long Giganotosaurus. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Through his company, ExhibitsRex, “Dino” Don has created a host of major international exhibitions. He created the Jurassic Park and Lost Worldtraveling exhibitions which opened at New York’s American Museum of Natural History and drew more than 3 million visitors in its three-year tours.
So, not only did I talk non-stop to Don on our non-stop flight, I twisted his arm to do an interview with me.
And so here he is coming to you from his 18th-century mansion outside of Philadelphia.
Check it out…you will learn some stuff about Don’s travels and be sure to laugh:
Interview with Traveler “Dino” Don Lessem from Lisa Lubin on Vimeo.
An exclusive, one-of-a-kind tour of Don’s personal exhibit….in his bathroom:
“Dino” Don Lessem – Exclusive Bathroom Exhibit – Museum of Bad Translations! from Lisa Lubin on Vimeo.
For more ‘bad translations’ go to Don’s site: Chinese DVD Covers.
“Dino” Don’s newest exhibition and books center on Genghis Khan. His exhibition is the first to gather large numbers of known objects from the greatest conqueror’s 13th century reign, and is currently touring to major American venues.
Check him out on his site: DinoDon.com.
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Great interview Lisa. I really dig this guy.
Dearest Lisa…you need to have your own network or cable show…with Disney, NG, Discovery, even Most Dangerous Catches, Trunkdrivers or The Law in Alaska, RepoGal or something as you are indestructable, indefatigable and do take the risk! BRAVI LISA. Don't hide your light from the rest of the world. You need to shine so all can see…you need to share your love of life and living it to the extreme! Knozit and most recently honored by the Circle of Native Americans with the Indian name…SNOW WOLF.
Oh Joe!! Thank you so much! You are amazing and one of a kind! 🙂
Great profile! He seems like he would be a very interesting person to share a flight with!
Cheap Air Travel
A stand out personality – Lisa