Far more than an “I did this, I saw that” book, Bill O’Brien’s story is an inspirational saga about adventure, excitement, achievement, the importance of character, and how an “ordinary Arizona Irish cowboy” overcame obstacles and challenges to achieve success in unique and creative ways. An entertaining, compelling story written by a master storyteller about one of Arizona’s most intriguing characters, here’s a perfect gift for your family, friends, clients, employees, and business associates.
About the Author
Award winning author, Nikos Ligidakis, born and raised in Greece, came to America in 1969, at the age of twenty-four.
While in America, he began to write with clarity and passion in an ardent voice for all people everywhere who find themselves called to join in the eternal struggle for life and freedom.
In his best selling book, The Heroes of my Thoughts, Ligidakis has written a warm and loving tribute to his life long heroes, his parents. The book became the genesis for the “”Children’s Pen Foundation”” a non-profit educational program founded by Nick in 2001 to inspire 6th and 7th graders to develop writing skills by composing short stories and poetry with the common theme “”What kind of hero does our world need today?”
In his award-winning book, The Last Mission Ligidakis introduced a hero in a fascinating story of survival during World War II. This incredible story narrates this hero’s freedom run of hundreds of miles in enemy territory full of danger, exhaustion, starvation, and death.
His latest book, Power and Defiance, is a labor of love, a nearly 800-page book about the integrity of individual freedom and the intense struggle for social justice. Such deep matters require not only the profound thoughts in the writing, but also equal reflective thoughts in the reading. The reader will find such thoughts throughout the pages of Power and Defiance, and hopefully will be challenged to recognize the heroism of those individuals who are perceived to be ordinary and simultaneously re-examine the character of those who proclaim themselves to be righteous and just.
Today Nikos devotes his life to coaching new authors encouraging and assisting them to write and publish their books. His publishing company, Inkwell Productions, has attracted numerous new and published authors and it’s rapidly becoming a significantly growing influence in changing the traditional face of publishing.
Nikos has founded several charitable organizations with the most notable his Thanksgiving Project to Feed the Hungry, a program that provided food to tens of thousands during its 21-year run. His selfless work with people has earned him several humanitarian awards over the years.
Ligidakis lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and has three children and six grandchildren.
Bill, O’Brien, one of America’s Greatest Generation, drove a landing craft with troops and supplies at Iwo Jima and walked on the site of the atomic bomb in Japan. I have heard his stories of running a trap line as a teenager in the hills of California and a Lobster line in the pacific, of riding in Polo Matches in Africa, bringing the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed to America, buying wool in South America and Africa. I grew to know Bill through the Wendy Paine O’Brien Center honoring his daughter, I was impressed with his Passion for Life and his courage in adversity. He was a Founder of the Irish Cultural Center and Library and an Icon for all things Irish.
– Norman McClelland, CEO of Shamrock foods
I enjoyed Bill’s flamboyant tales and listening to his stories about events that had helped to change and shape Arizona. But I was also privy to another side of Bill that I suspect not many got to see. Bill and I had both lost children in different ways and at different ages, but we both knew and sometimes reflected on that place in our hearts that would never truly heal. Bill was always in every situation a man of action, and so he worked to develop a center that would help teenagers struggling with mental health issues. He named this center after his daughter “The Wendy Paine O’Brien Treatment Center.” This would become one of the most respected centers of its kind in Arizona. The Wendy Center helped countless children and adolescents over the years. I learned many things from Bill, he was a complex man with a heart as big as the outdoors that he so loved. He loved his family, his country, and always tried to bring a smile and a solution to every situation. As you read his story, I hope you get a sense of who Bill truly was and the enormous impact that he made on the shaping and history of Arizona and on the many lives he touched.
– Patricia Little-Upah, Former CEO, Wendy Paine O’Brien Treatment Center
The infectious smile, the boundless enthusiasm, the love of life and family – all this and more describe Bill O’Brien and his life. A man of small stature but large of heart, he stood out in any crowd. You wanted to be next to him, to hear his latest escapades, to share in his excitement about people, places and things. Bill was truly a unique individual – there was nothing ordinary about him.
– Craig and Barbara Barrett
I met Bill about 13 years ago when I arrived from Florida. At the time, I knew very little about the incredible story of the St. Patrick’s Battalion, known as the San Patricios. Bill took me under his wing, so to speak, and shared what he knew about the brave Irish soldiers who joined the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American war. One of my fondest memories was when he and I travelled to Mexico City to attend a ceremony to honor the memory of the San Patricios. Bill’s goal was to grow a bond of friendship between the Irish and the Mexican people. He succeeded in doing so on this and other trips that we took together. I could not be more pleased that his memoir has finally been published.
– Ernesto “Ernie” Patino, author and lecturer
I first met Bill in 2004 when he and Norman McClelland flew to Boston to talk with me at Boston College about their plans for a dedicated Irish library at the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix and to invite me to serve as a consultant on the project. His charm was irresistible, and I quickly came to understand why he had been so successful in sales, ranching, and community service. You simply could not say no to Bill.
– Robert O’Neill