will this work?
Erin Brockovich Biography
February 20, 2008
I grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, the youngest child of an industrial engineer and a journalist. After graduating from Lawrence High School I attended Kansas State University for one year, then moved to Dallas, Texas, where I earned my Associate in Applied Arts degree at Wades Business College.
After college, I moved to Southern California where I worked for K-Mart as a management trainee before taking a job at Fluor Engineers and Constructors to work and study to become an electrical design engineer. It was at this time when I decided to explore the world of beauty pageants. Although I won the title of Miss Pacific Coast, I quit after a year and married a restaurant manager.
My husband and I moved back to Kansas where my two older children, Matthew and Katie, were born. In 1987, we settled in Reno, Nevada, before I divorced my first husband. As a mother of two children and newly single, I got a job as a secretary at a local brokerage, where I met a stockbroker. We married in 1989 and I gave birth to my youngest daughter, Elizabeth. In 1990, my marriage ended in divorce. I was again a single mother, this time with three children to feed and clothe.
After being seriously injured in a traffic accident in Reno, my kids and I moved back to Southern California where I hired Jim Vititoe of Masry & Vititoe to handle my auto accident case in 1991. Not long after my case was resolved, I was hired to work at the law firm as a file clerk. While organizing papers in a pro bono real estate case, I found medical records in the file that caught my eye. After getting permission from one of the firm's principals, Ed Masry, I began to research the matter.
My investigation eventually established that the health of countless people who lived in and around Hinkley, California, in the 1960's, 70's and 80's had been severely compromised by exposure to toxic Chromium 6. The Chromium 6 had leaked into the groundwater from the nearby Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Compressor Station. In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, spearheaded by me and Ed Masry, the giant utility paid the largest toxic tort injury settlement in U.S. history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.
My investigating inspired the hit movie "Erin Brockovich", which highlighted my legal triumph and personal challenges. Released in March 2000 by Universal Studios, it starred JULIA ROBERTS as myself. The movie's great success led to numerous awards and nominations, including 5 Academy Award nominations and one win. Steven Soderbergh was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Director,” and Julia Roberts won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award for “Best Actress” for her portrayal of me.
From the exposure of the movie, I became a reluctant public figure. Over time, I realized I could use my notoriety to spread positive messages of personal empowerment and for me to encourage people to stand up and make a difference. This led to my first television project, an ABC special entitled “Challenge America with Erin Brockovich." It taped in New York and aired in December 2001. This feel good program is best described as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on steroids, but preceded that successful series. I set out to motivate and organize hundreds of volunteers and donated resources to help rebuild a dilapidated park in downtown Manhattan a few months following 9/11.
I then hosted the Lifetime series "Final Justice." This series recreated incredible stories of actual women, their perilous situations and how they overcame adversity. I followed that up with my book entitled "Take It from Me, Life's a Struggle, But You Can Win."
Presently, I am one of the most requested lecture clients of the William Morris Agency. I travel the world doing personal appearances spreading motivational messages, telling my story and telling of my personal life lessons.
Currently, I am the President of the consulting firm, Brockovich Research & Consulting, where I am involved in numerous major environmental cases.
I have come a long way from file clerk to inspired environmental activist to motivational speaker to television host and producer.
I was remarried in 1999 to Eric Ellis, and live with my husband and children in Southern California.