Five minutes - that's what Bruce D. Salvog says saved his life on Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Salvog, a managing director and head of taxable fixed-income portfolios at U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Minneapolis, was in New York to give a presentation at a press conference in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
At 8: 45 that morning, Mr. Salvog was alone in a Marriott hotel elevator when he heard the first plane crash into the North Tower. When he reached the main lobby, security guards already had locked the doors because debris from the plane and tower was raining on the street outside.
Mr. Salvog ignored the guards' requests for guests to return to their hotel rooms, deciding to duck out a side exit as soon as the doors opened.
Not knowing what was going on, he ran south about a block and a half before the second plane crashed into the South Tower.
"Five minutes earlier, and I would have been in the North Tower. Five minutes later and I would have been stuck in the South Tower," Mr. Salvog said, speaking from his summer home in Bend, Ore., which he and his wife are furnishing in anticipation of his retirement in a few months.
Mr. Salvog, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before that day, said the cancer was the first reminder of his mortality. His narrow escape on Sept. 11 was the second.
"I certainly didn't need the second slap on my face. That definitely got my attention." His future plans? "It could be as simple as driving a truck for the Red Cross," he said, explaining he feels the need to give back to society.