Jack Schropp – A Lifetime of Making a Difference

On Sunday, January 14th, former Landmark Forum Leader Jack Schropp passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. He is survived by his wife Shari and five children, all of whom meant the world to Jack. Prior to his years as a Landmark Forum Leader, Jack served his country. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, he chose to enter Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training – considered THE most mentally and physically challenging military training in the world.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Jack served three tours of duty in Vietnam as a frogman/Navy SEAL. The men under his command received numerous commendations, and all of them returned home safe.

After his career in the Navy, Jack then moved to serving people through transformation. As some of his long time friends and colleagues said, he made the transition from a warrior engaging battles in the Vietnam war to engaging with the personal battles of hundreds of thousands of people, standing for what is possible in what it is to be a human being and delivering freedom to people – the freedom to be, the freedom to express oneself and the the freedom to live a life one loved. Through his work he also helped hundreds of veterans reconcile and complete their experience of war.

With one brief pause, Jack led The Landmark Forum, The Advanced Course, The Landmark Forum for Teens, and different corporate courses from Landmark’s inception in 1991 through 2001. He led The Landmark Forum for Teens exclusively from 2001 until 2010.  He retired in 2010 after starting to experience the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease – he led programs for as long as his health allowed.

After retiring from Landmark, Jack wrote a book called Unbeatable and led courses based on the secrets of a Navy SEAL. His book is used in organizations, corporations, and schools.

Even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Jack never stopped standing for people, speaking out about the disease and producing videos to coach people in what they were dealing with. As recently as last year he was working to raise money to help families dealing with the disease.

Jack was known for his steel-like integrity, his dry, straight faced toughness and humor, as well as his deep and abiding love and compassion for people. He was very close to his brother Mike Schropp, who was a long time staff member for est.

The outpouring of love and sympathy for Jack and his family has been immense with condolence messages coming in from all over the world.

While many things can and will continue to be said, we want to leave you with the beautiful and heartfelt message posted by his wife Shari. This statement about his life and his passing on Facebook, which is reproduced here with her permission:

I am so deeply sad to tell all of you, our friends, that the love of my life, Commander John (Jack) Warren Schropp and Landmark Forum Leader has passed away on Sunday, January 14 at 7 p.m.

We both contracted a deadly flu that caused many symptoms that he could not fight due to Alzheimer’s.

Jack passed away in his sleep, peacefully. I was by his side the entire time and was with him when he took his last breath.

He will FOREVER be missed. I have lost the love of my life and am so deeply sad. I just don’t know what else to say.

Please pray for his safety in a better place.

He is being buried beside his mom and dad in his place of birth in PA and didn’t want any fuss or funeral. Only immediate family by his side. He wants no statue or anything much to identify where he is. He always wanted the difference he made for people to be left in their hearts and souls. That is his legacy.

So if you want to contribute in some way, to pay tribute to Jack Schropp today, go out and do something transformative for someone else’s life.

He used to tell me that ‘making a difference’ is not about getting your face on a dollar bill one day or getting medals. It’s about making a difference in the moment, when the momentary opportunity arrives.

In the US Navy he was responsible for many people being honoured with medals. He didn’t need them for himself.

For years we used to received phone calls from Navy SEALs that served under Jack who thank him for keeping them safe and saving their lives so they could go back to their families. No SEAL died under his command.

So, pay it forward in Jack’s honour. You will know in the moment when it’s time to make a difference for another person in Jack’s honour.

To find out more about Jack’s legacy, see what’s being said about him on Facebook and to learn more about his experiences as a Navy SEAL watch Jack read from his book Unbeatable.



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David Poland says:

Jack was my Forum `leader in 1998. He made the biggest difference to me and stared me on a journey that resulted me in becoming a Communication Course Leader. His strength and compassion got the job done with me. Rest in Peace Jack.

Stefano says:

Riposi in Pace, amen

Darryl swanson class 44 says:

Jack was my co when I first went to udt-22 in 1968 l always new he was a great man I will try hard to live up to his example . I followed him then and will continue from now on respectfully

Gene Wardrobe, CDR,USN(Ret.) West Coast, Class 29 says:

While deployed to Vietnam during the Tet. Offensive (1968) my platoon suffered a series of unfortunate combat related 3 KIA/the rest of us WIA (some twice). Jack was a SEAL Team One Det. GOLF officer and after each incident he would show up and to help keep the morale high, he volunteered to go on combat ops with us. Jack was a cool officer (one of the best I ever served with) and was trying to quit smoking. He knew I carried several lucky strikes wrapped in waterproof bags in my bush hat. One day after a long patrol we were hiding in a bamboo grove waiting for dark to then move into our ambush positions on a small river. Jack was begging me for a smoke, I smiled, gave him the finger, and lit up. Jack’s face said it all. So after several puffs, I threw my pouch over to him. He lit up and put my remaining cigs in his hat. I frowned, he smiled, gave me the finger and then threw them back. Jack became a mentor and friend. Jack had Flag Officer potential but I lost contact with him after he left the Navy. My deepest condolences to Jack’s Wife and Family. Something tells me (deep down) we will serve/be united together again.

Paul says:

Hahaha LOVE love love this guy.

What a lovely gentle fun man.

Can’t remember what I did with him, assisted in a few forums or something. I remember they had a dish of lozenges on back table and I went to hand him one and it fell on floor and he just bent over picked it up, popped in his mouth said “3 second rule” it’s still good. His coaching stories and how he was with people, hey and maybe still is with people, I don’t know where he is now, just the way he looked at you, the way a forum leader looks at you and listens your existence, was what makes this world interesting, for me anyway. Part of what made him who he was for me was the trainer or forum leader body he affiliated himself with. It takes a big man to be part of a team like that and let that power take him over. So great. Glad I stumbled upon this news so I could appreciate someone and something deserving appreciation.

Cheryl McGraw says:

I am hearing of Jack’s passing rather late – May of 2019. He was my Landmark Forum Leader in Dec. of 1998. I am eternally grateful that he chose to spend his life listening for and unlocking the greatness and freedom to be in all human beings. I am so grateful for my experience in one of his Landmark Forums and for the peace and joy I have had in living my life since then.

Paul Hoffinger says:

Jack gave me permission with a very dead-pan look, to know “this is what ‘Bubbly’ looks like over here”. From that I know I get to create my life .

Mark Wiles says:

Jack Schropp changed my life. As a 20 year old kid in 1997, I completed the Landmark Forum and Advanced Course he led in Troy, MI. I was saddened to read of the news of his passing, but quickly turned that to gratefulness that his path through life crossed mine. I met my wife a month and a half after the LF, and haven’t looked back since.

Chuck Parrot MD says:

Jack was a hero to me. He had the power, stature, and majesty of being a US Navy Seal Officer, and the loving heart of a Guru.

As a fellow naval medical officer, I really loved Jack, and he touched so many hearts.

John Foote says:

In 1997, Jack was my Forum Leader. Today, I choose to attend the Forum, again. My choice is to retain and refresh the discoveries I experienced through Jack and Landmark.
Thank you, Jack for your good work.

Oh I’m so very sorry to hear of this. I had wondered why he’d stopped leading the Forum. I thought of him today when I was telling a friend his story about the being that split into two and played a game where one forgot it was a game. Thought I would look him up. He led my second Forum and second Advanced course. What an amazing impact he had on the world.

[…] Saturday, however, I was particularly paranoid about being on time as I was scheduled to interview Jack Schropp, author of Unbeatable–a book with an entire chapter about the evils of being late. As I roll […]

Hazel says:

I was the Forum Leader Assistant for him several times. He enjoyed the John Lee Hooker Blues cassette tape I had in my car. He made up his own Forum Leader Blues song…. Detroit Center

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