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Famous tightrope artist Philippe Petit tells of lessons learned on the wire

Tightrope walker Philippe Petit.
Tightrope walker Philippe Petit.

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In August of 1974 some residents of Manhattan woke up to a strange sight: A man - 1,300 feet in the air - walking a tightrope between the towers of the World Trade Center.

It was later revealed the man was from France. His name was Philippe Petit.

The illegal stunt was the subject of his book, "To Reach the Clouds," which also became the subject of the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary "Man on Wire."

Since that famous walk, Petit has performed around the world, written several books and this week he was in Long Beach, Calif. to give a talk at the 2012 Ted conference, an annual gathering of the world's leading thinkers.