Edward Michael Grylls, known to the public as Bear Grylls, is a prominent British author, television presenter, and motivational speaker who is best known for his work with the Discovery Channel series "Man V. Wild: Born Survivor" as well as the series "Escape to the Legion." His television work is well known in both the United Kingdom and the United States, both for his series and for some work in commercials.
Grylls was born on 7 June 1974 and is the son of the late Sir Michael Grylls, a prominent member of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. Educated at Eton College, Grylls also attended London University, where he studied for a degree in Hispanic Studies. A veteran of the United Kingdom Special forces, he served as a member of the SAS TA as a Sabre soldier. His military career was cut short in 1996 after an accident left him with a broken spine. During his time in the Special Forces, Grylls received training in a variety of disciplines, among them desert and winter warfare, parachuting, climbing, explosives technology, and combat survival. The skills that Grylls developed during this time helped to prepare him for his later work as an explorer and adventurer.
After spending 12 months in rehabilitation, Grylls launched a career as a celebrated adventurer. One of his first celebrated feats involved scaling Mount Everest. As part of the fanfare that resulted from that event, he appeared in a series of television commercials for Sure® deodorant. The premise of the commercial was based on a comparison of what really makes Grylls sweat (his work as a motivational speaker) to the task of scaling the mountain.
Grylls’ notoriety led to the project of doing a four part documentary in 2005. Centered around his entry — along with 11 other UK recruits — into the French Foreign Legion, the project was named "Escape to the Legion." The series chronicled the progress of Grylls and the other recruits during the rigorous month long training they endured in the Sahara Desert. Broadcast in the United Kingdom, the series was also picked up by the Military Channel in the United States, providing even more exposure for the adventurer. This project led to the development of "Born Survivor," an eight part documentary that was broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, and on the Discovery Channel in such locations as Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The premise of "Born Survivor" placed Bear Grylls in a variety of settings, most of them inhospitable, where he would be called upon to demonstrate how to survive under adverse conditions. A support team, who meet Grylls at a prearranged meeting point at the end of the adventure, monitors his progress. The series was produced for several years and attracted a sizable audience.
Grylls continues to work as a motivational speaker, with projects in both the United Kingdom and the United States. He also writes, with his 2004 offering, Facing the Frozen Ocean, selling well.