We lit upon heroes in every corner of the corporate world, in every pay grade, and based all over the world. Some on the list below have forever changed the life of one individual or family; some have helped entire communities; still others have touched the lives of strangers never to be met. Of all our discoveries in this investigation, however, this one is particularly striking: Uncommon heroism is far more common in America’s giant companies than we knew. That’s the measure for which the Fortune 500 should be most proud.
Occupation Senior Manager, American Home Assurance Company
Location Tokyo, Japan
As he stood on a subway platform in Yokohama one morning in 2012, waiting for the train, Masato Toda heard something fall onto the tracks. The IT project manager thought someone had dropped a bag. But when he peered below, he saw what had fallen: a teenage girl, who had fainted before slipping onto the rails. Spotting the light of the oncoming train, Toda and a nearby police officer jumped down, lifted the girl’s body, and squeezed into a shallow ditch running alongside the tracks. All three survived when the train sped over them moments later. But for Toda, who last year received a medal for his bravery from the emperor of Japan, those stirring moments remain as current as ever. Whenever he goes back to that station, he counts to himself the seconds that passed between when he jumped and the arrival of the train: 13.