- Eric was born and raised in Missouri. He earned scholarships to Duke University and the University of Oxford, where he earned a Ph.D. Eric has worked as a humanitarian volunteer, documentary photographer, and researcher in places like Rwanda, Cambodia, and Bolivia.
- Eric also served as a United States Navy SEAL officer and deployed four times during the Global War on Terrorism. His military awards include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
- After his deployment to Iraq in 2007, Eric donated his combat pay to found The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve in communities across America. Through The Mission Continues, veterans begin to transform their own lives while building stronger communities here at home.
Eric has been recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in America. In 2013, TIME magazine named Eric to their list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and most recently, Fortune magazine recognized him as one of 50 greatest leaders in the world.
Eric has written two New York Times bestselling books, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for a Better Life, a series of letters Eric wrote to a fellow SEAL struggling with PTSD, and The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL. He has also published a collection of photographs and essays, Strength and Compassion.
In 2015, Eric announced his candidacy for Missouri Governor, and in August of 2016, he became the Republican nominee for Governor of the State of Missouri.
Eric currently lives in St. Louis with his wife, Sheena, and their two sons.