What Happened to Todd Beamer’s Family After Sept. 11, 2001?

Todd Beamer’s wife Lisa made a series of public appearances and interviews, established the Todd J. Beamer Memorial foundation, gave birth to a child, and authored a book since Sept. 11, 2001. Lisa Beamer has been criticized for the operations of the foundation and has faced accusations of profiting from her husband’s death.

Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, drew attention for his final telephone call, which ended with him shouting “Let’s roll!” to fellow passengers as they stormed the cockpit before the crash. His wife Lisa, who was five months pregnant, began granting interviews and making appearances to promote the Todd J. Beamer Memorial Foundation, which she established within days of the crash to provide funds to the children of those killed in the attacks. Lisa gave birth to a daughter in January 2002 and continued making appearances to support the foundation. In 2003, she co-authored “Let’s Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage,” with proceeds donated to the foundation. The foundation broadened its mission and changed its name to Heroic Changes in 2004.

Lisa drew criticism when the foundation successfully attempted to copyright the phrase “Let’s Roll!” less than a month after the crash, which, along with her numerous appearances, critics saw as attempts to profit from the tragedy. Criticism intensified after the foundation shut down in 2007 and financial reports revealed that fundraising expenses greatly exceeded the money given to families. Several families also claimed that they had never been contacted by the foundation, nor had they received any type of support. In 2011, Lisa delivered the commencement address at Wheaton College, but has otherwise remained out of the public eye.