New York Chef Was One of 9/11's Big Heroes

Benjamin Clark risked -- and lost -- his life helping countless strangers and colleagues escape the burning World Trade Center's South Tower

On September 11, 2001, one of the many hundreds of heroes -- firefighters, police, World Trade Center workers, civilians -- who risked their lives to help others escape the unfolding tragedy was New York chef Benjamin Clark. He cooked for the 250 employees of Fiduciary Trust on the 96th floor of the South Tower, and as the tragedy unfolded, the 39-year-old Clark assisted countless coworkers and strangers in fleeing the smoke and flames. He stayed behind to help a woman in a wheelchair on the 78th floor, and in helping rescue so many others, he lost precious minutes from his own attempted escape. Clark died trying to get out.

The Daily Beast today reports on Clark and on his family's memories of him, and at iVillage we want to take a moment to pay a special tribute to the heroic chef-- a father of five and former Marine who was known for his lifelong selflessness and generosity, not to mention for his exceptional meatloaf recipe. We also want to thank, once again, the innumerable other chefs and heroes in the food world who donated their time and resources to feed first-responders and thousands of New Yorkers as the city tried to cope with the 9/11 tragedy in the days, weeks and months that followed.

Salma Abdelnour is the food editor at iVillage. You can follow her on Twitter.

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