Dan Armstrong was born with a cleft palate, He had to wait until he was almost 6 years old to be fitted with a prosthesis that would correct what surgery could not repair. Needless to say, he was not prone to speak to very many people outside of his immediate family.
Dr. Mohamed Mazaheri of the Lancaster Palate Clinic became one of his heroes. Each visit he would encourage Dan and tell him about his own son named Danny. His son and Dan would eventually meet as they both wrestled on the team at Conestoga Valley High School. Armstrong was shy, cautious of people, and had very low self-esteem. In time, Armstrong said, “Every word with its consonants was pronounced slowly”, adding “This came across to others as though I had a mental handicap. I was mocked and bullied”.
Armstrong and his family traveled around the country for several summers singing at churches, campgrounds, and fairgrounds. They recorded an album in 1976 when Armstrong was 13 years old.
He shared that his confidence in speaking to people outside his comfort zone grew as they performed and in 8th grade, Dan Armstrong tried out for a school play, a musical entitled, Trial by Jury. He got the lead role.
He continued in High School and acted in 8 school plays. After high school, He joined a Christian Rock Band in 1982 called Damascus. Armstrong was the oldest member at 19 years old. When he was 20 years old, he recorded an album under contract with Ascension Records. One of the guys had to have his father sign the contract because he was only 17!
Their songs were played nationally as they traveled many weekends, mostly on the East Coast with a few stints to Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada.
In 1987 Damascus disbanded after playing on some of the biggest stages, such as the Jesus Festival and Creation.
“I did start my cable career at 20 years old I became a contractor to keep my options open for traveling” Armstrong stated.
Dan Armstrong got married in 1988 to Sally (Smith) Armstrong and after they had their first daughter, Armstrong was contacted by Fed McNaughten of WJTL FM 90.3 about doing a short quip on air. Fred remembered hearing me on stage with the band telling short humorous or challenging stories and thought there could be a way to translate them to a radio audience.
“I wrote and recorded ten one-minute short stories with a life lesson,” Armstrong said while reminiscing. “Fred came up with the idea to call it – The Wacky Words of Dan Armstrong. That was in 1992. I had no idea I would continue to write and record 1000 spots until 1998”.
After that expression, he shares he was a bit worn out but his wife had another plan. She was a teacher at Dayspring Christian Academy and asked Armstrong to play the part of Psalty the Singing Songbook.
Armstrong made 8 trips to Japan to perform street magic and teach English in Takamatsu Japan.
His first book, The Adventures of a Real Life Cable Guy, was published in 2015 after the first draft was completely lost in 2013. “I was so happy and grateful to be interviewed on ABC GoodDay PA in June of 2015,” Armstrong said.
His second book, Smart Dust – The Dawn of Transhumanism, was published in October of 2021.
Recently, on June 7, 2022, Armstrong was interviewed by Dr. Natalie Forest of the Los Angeles Tribune. A full hour of unscripted video podcast.
Armstrong is currently working on another book project which will come out in December of this year – a compilation book with other authors. “I am also in progress of a sequel to Smart Dust tentatively entitled, Smart Waves”, he added.
He is also excited to be spending a day in the house of Dr. Denis Waitley on Aug 6th next month.
Whitley was hired by Dr. Jonas Salk (the developer of the polio vaccine) and eventually became the chairman of the medical board for the US Olympic Team, as well as working for NASA. Denis is well known as a motivational speaker and best-selling author.
Dan Armstrong is the author of The Adventures of a Real Life Cable Guy, a memoir of a career, AND Smart Dust – The Dawn of Transhumanism, a science fiction novel based on real emerging technology unknown to most people.
Dan Armstrong is also a co-author of Think Big – which became a Number 1 best-selling book on Amazon in 25 categories and an international bestseller in May of this year.
The Dan Armstrong story in Think Big is about overcoming the birth defect of a cleft palate.
Armstrong is also a public speaker. Recently he gave a speech with the theme “Being aware of your Presence in the Lives of Other People”.
In addition to being an author, public speaker, and serial entrepreneur, Armstrong helped start a door-to-door food give program a few years ago, and since then they have handed out 1200 boxes of food to the residents of Beaver Street in Lancaster.
Armstrong is an inspiration to many and proof of how adversary and life challenges can be a launching ground for creativity, passion, and success. He has been married to Sally for 34 years and has four adult daughters.