|Al Weatherhead had been kicked out of the family business, struggled through the death of an infant son, two failed marriages, and a long battle with alcoholism.
He suffered from crippling rheumatoid arthritis and life-threatening heart disease. And yet the businessman has been successful, both professionally and personally, which has allowed him to endow a variety of colleges across the country.
He has chronicled his tumultuous life in a 184-page memoir, The Power of Adversity: Tough Times Can Make You Stronger, Wiser, and Better. But the 83-year-old’s autobiography isn’t just a series of personal anecdotes. He wanted to pass on the lessons he learned in struggles to help others overcome theirs.
“The guy in California doesn’t know me from a bale of hay,” maintains Weatherhead, who is still involved day-to-day at Weatherhead Industries Inc. in Beachwood and Twinsburg. “So the real reason I wrote the book is to help people out.”
In the book and in his life, Weatherhead reconciled with his father, found love with his third wife, and is the proud father of three grown children. He quit drinking, and conquered depression and debilitating illness.
Weatherhead’s No. 1 lesson: Embrace hardship.
“You can survive and really embrace adversity and put it to your advantage,” he observes. “You’re never going to solve [your problems] by running away."