On His Birthday 20 Years Ago, Tom Lo Escaped the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He Vowed Never to Waste Another Day

I wrote this piece for Inc. Magazine about my remarkable friend Thomas Lo and his journey out of the South Tower on 9/11 after the planes hit. Published in September of 2021, it was one of my most-read pieces in eight years at Inc.

It was also my last as a full-time journalist and New Yorker. The day after this story went up, I transitioned from my role as an executive editor in Manhattan—where I’d watched 1 WTC go up from Inc.’s offices directly across the street—to a new career as a corporate content director based in Los Angeles. Writing it was a soft goodbye to the greatest city in the world and, in Tom style, an open embrace of the opportunities ahead.

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Tom Lo

Photograph by Evelyn Freja