After surviving a heart attack in December of 2013, Dan “Nitro” Clark received what he calls a second chance. Inspired by his near death experience, Dan has dedicated his life to helping others find their inner Gladiator and live a healthier, happier, more fit life.
Dan began his career as an athlete, playing football for San Jose State University where he was a standout defensive lineman. He then went on to play in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, and later on played in Europe.
Dan is best known from the smash hit TV show American Gladiators, where he played the iconic gladiator “Nitro” for seven seasons. The show ran in syndication for over 10 million weekly viewers and aired in over 40 countries.
After American Gladiators, Dan turned to acting, appearing in such motion pictures as Death Becomes Her (with Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis) and Equilibrium (with Christian Bale). He has also guest starred in TV series including Ellen, Walker, Texas Ranger, V.I.P., Married… with Children, Who's the Boss?, and Saved by the Bell.
In 2017, Dan released F Dying: How Cheating Death Kicked My Ass Into Loving, Learning, and Living My Best Life. In F Dying, Dan opens up about barely surviving a heart attack in 2013. This poignant, often hilarious, deeply honest, and always fascinating story about how Dan learned to engineer his own happiness and reclaim his own power will make you laugh, weep, and be grateful for everything you have.
In 2009, Dan wrote his critically acclaimed memoir Gladiator, which was published by Simon and Schuster. Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk selected Gladiator as one of his “Best Books” of 2009. New York Times bestselling author Augusten Borroughs had high praise for the book:
“Dan Clark possesses the emotional honesty, humility and depth together with the innate literary talent and stylistic sensibility to execute this memoir with stunning eloquence and power. His lean, muscular prose never wavers off course as it leads us through his unspeakable loss, overwhelming success and ultimately into a kind of acceptance and redemption…”
-AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS (Running With Scissors)
In 2010, Dan created the Gladiator Rock’n Run. Voted “Best Mud Run in the USA” in 2014 by industry leader MudRunGuide.com, the event challenges participants to run, jump, slide and crawl through 5 kilometers of obstacle-laden terrain. In addition, Dan is listed as one of the “Top 15 Most Influential People in Obstacle Course Racing.”
Proceeds from every event benefit “Talk About Curing Autism,” and so far Gladiator Rock’n Run has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause.