The Vanguard Group
“One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts”

Remarks By
John C. Bogle, Founder and Former CEO
The Vanguard Group
on receiving the
2003 CVI Leadership Award
The Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
June 7, 2003


I’m delighted and honored to be with you this evening. How could I possibly turn down an invitation to receive an award for leadership from a foundation whose mission is “to advance the science and practice of cardiovascular medicine through research and education”? Not because I am a model of the natural leader—that I doubt very much—but because I may well be America’s best example of a beneficiary of that very mission.

I’m not sure I can find the words—indeed, even the thoughts—to describe how it feels to be, well, born again—home with my family, hard at work, living not just a normal life but a super-normal life, all with someone else’s heart throbbing away, just like clockwork, in my chest. Indeed, thanks to the surgical skill of Dr. Rohinton Morris, there’s almost no sign of a scar there, and sometimes I wonder if my whole transplant experience wasn’t just a wonderful dream.

But it must be real. Why? Because it is simply inconceivable to me that any other 74-year-old man—a veritable antique—could possibly have the energy, the stamina, the enthusiasm, the mental agility (albeit not without a “senior moment” or two) both to pursue my mission to reform not only the mutual fund industry and corporate America as well—we might as well think big!—and to travel, to lecture, to sail my little 15-foot boat, to climb an occasional (small) mountain, and even to play squash. (Okay, so it’s only doubles. But we win!)

None of this would have been possible without the truly remarkable advances in cardiovascular medicine that result from your mission, as well as the finest medical care one can imagine. Dr. Susan Brozena, my chief guardian angel—first at Hahnemann Hospital and then at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania—was surrounded by a marvelous cadre of skilled cardiologists, caring nurses, able technicians, and yes, fastidious housekeepers, who made my 128-day wait for a new heart—on round-the-clock intravenous medicine (bless the PIC line!)—seem, at least in retrospect, like a mere moment in time.

But I can’t stop there with my appreciation. I had my first heart attack way back in 1960, when I was just 31 years of age, and for the next 35 years (!) Drs. Joseph B. VanderVeer, Bernard Lown, Peter Kowey, Roman DiSanctis, and Frank Marcus—remarkable cardiologists all—made sure that I could hang on to life until the great day arrived, as I never doubted it would. It came on February 21, 1996, when, miraculously, my second chance at life began.

So what am I to think about all this? Other than delight with these extra years with my family, gratitude beyond imagination to my donor and his family, and appreciation beyond measure to my scores of guardian angels, I’m trying to make the very most of these marvelous extra years that have been added to my life. But I can’t find words of my own to do justice to what I feel. So I’ll close by citing a few lines from Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” describing how that great warrior felt when he returned home from his long odyssey. As I stand before you tonight, these words, ever so slightly edited, describe my attitude so well that it’s almost spooky:

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enojoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore.
I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers.
I am part of all that I have met.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of my second life
Who knows how much remains:
But every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things;
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
So come, my friends
Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, ‘til I die.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; but now
Restored to that good strength
which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Renewed by time and fate, still strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.*

Good bless you all. Thank you. And good night!