Blog Master G

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Golden Gate Bridge Jumpers

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003 · 13 Comments

Update 1.20.2005: Suicide Documentary

New Yorker: “Studies reveal ‘a commonly held attitude that romanticizes suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge in such terms as aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, while regarding a Bay Bridge suicide as tacky.'”

I read the (print version of) this fascinating New Yorker article tonight about the most popular and effective place to commit suicide in America: The Golden Gate Bridge. An average of one person every two weeks commits suicide using the national landmark as a stepping stone. That’s more than 1,200 (recorded) suicides since the bridge opened in 1937. Only twenty-six people known to have attempted suicide from the bridge have survived.

One of the only things I will actually miss about my San Francisco-San Rafael commute is the opportunity to drive across the breathtaking Gate twice per day. As Tad Friend eloquently puts it in this New Yorker piece: “Matchless in its Art Deco splendor, the Golden Gate is also unrivalled as a symbol: it is a threshold that presides over the end of the continent and a gangway to the void beyond.”

Tags: the world

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jose Luis Martinez // Oct 14, 2003 at 8:44 pm

    did you take that pic? pretty amazing viewpoint..

  • 2 gabe // Oct 14, 2003 at 9:25 pm

    i wish i had taken it. a friend of a friend actually did. he was lucky enough to get to be on the bridge right there. i agree that it’s pretty amazing.

    (i first linked to this photo in this post.)

  • 3 beerzie boy // Oct 15, 2003 at 7:42 am

    I read that article, and it was great. One thing, though:I thought that he was a little hard on the Bay Bridge. It’s not as beautiful as the GG, but it is a beautiful bridge nevertheless.

  • 4 Marcie // Nov 25, 2003 at 4:48 pm

    I love the Golden Gate Bridge with it’s beautiful view. Facing the San Francisco side is probably warmer and more upbeat than facing the “points west” side. Yet the thought of just how far away the next piece of land is tempts one to choose that side. Peace.

  • 5 Kristen // Dec 2, 2003 at 8:56 am

    ABC’s Primetime Live did a piece on the suicides at Golden Gate Bridge last night. Log on to for the story. Basically, people want to build a suicide barrier on this beautiful landmark to prevent people from dying. I’ll hold my tongue about it and just say that I am a conservative, so you can imagine my opinion on the matter.

  • 6 Charlene Fried // Dec 2, 2003 at 9:39 am

    Dearest ABC News,

    I am a teacher at SVHS and one of my students is doing her Senior Project on “Why People Commit Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.” You can imagine how excited we were to find your excellent program last night on this very topic on Prime Time Monday! She is going to use many parts from your program in her research paper, portfolio, and final community board presentation.

    If you have any more information on this topic, she would appreciate any additional information you can sen her. If you have a copy of the article you have written about, she would appreciate it very much if you could send that, too.

    Thank you very much! We really enjoyed your presentation.


    Charlene Fried
    Teacher, Sierra Vista High School

    Our Address:

    Lakshmi Aleman
    c/o Charlene Fried
    Sierra Vista High School
    3600 N. Frazier
    Baldwin Park, CA 91706

    Our Phone #:

    626-484-9934 (my cell)
    626-960-7741, ext. 302 (the school)

  • 7 Danial // Jan 18, 2004 at 3:58 am

    The New Yorker Article was such an eye opener, since I knew nothing about suicide and the Golden Gate before reading it. It was extremely moving. I wonder if the author of that article writes or has written anything else.

  • 8 Stevenje // Jan 23, 2004 at 4:11 am

    A young man I knew from the Freedom Fellowship Group of Alcoholics Anonymous in Mountain View jumped from the bridge this month. I feel so bad I coulden’t reach out to him. I pray for his family now, and I pray God will help the young man in his new life.

  • 9 witness // Apr 10, 2004 at 6:45 pm

    I witnessed a young black male apx. 20 years old jump today. Luckily for him, there were surfers in the water who immediately propped him on their boards and awaited coast guard who was alerted via the National Guardsmen who are securing the bridge against terrorism. Word was he was airlifted via helicopter so he has a chance to be one of the few survivors.

    I’m not real sure what I feel yet. But I know I feel like asking the unanswerable question “why”

    I hope he get’s a second chance and I hope others don’t make the same choice.

  • 10 Christina // Apr 22, 2004 at 3:11 am

    My brother was the one the previous post was talking about, from the Alcoholics Anonymous group in Mountain View. It has been devistating for the past few months. I would give anything to have him back. I know he could have found other ways, but I wish there was a barrier there. To anyone who doesn’t think the barrier should be there because it might look ugly… I hope your brother never jumps. That will quickly change your mind.

  • 11 James // Apr 28, 2004 at 5:39 pm

    I can understand feeling down and I can understand being in hopeless positions but suicide is a permanant solution to what is almost always a temperary issue, that being said it is also a persons own choice no matter how devestating it may be to the people around them I doubt that a barrier would make much of a differance in the mind set of someone that is intent on taking their life just force a change of venue.

  • 12 patrick // Jul 8, 2004 at 9:20 pm

    I had NO idea there would be information about this? It is a plan of mine in time to travel there, get a cheap motel for a week or so and write my goodbye letters. I can’t believe others have that same plan? Do you know how much a motel would cost me? Also, can a pedestrian walk to and on the bridge? I appreciate any info you might have. Thank you…


  • 13 eric steel // Dec 27, 2004 at 4:47 pm

    i am directing a documentary about suicide at the golden gate bridge and would like to make contact with the people who have posted comments to this site, can you forward my email address to them?
    eric steel