Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in twenty seven seconds, carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame. The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. Today, he is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States. It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticisms, yet Rudy achieved his first dream – to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. As fans cheered RU-DY, RU-DY, he sacked the quarterback in the last 27 seconds of the only play in the only game of his college football career. Rudy Ruettiger is the only player in the school’s history to be carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders.
In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, RUDY. Written and produced by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the critically acclaimed RUDY received “Two Thumbs Up” from Siskel and Ebert and continues to inspire millions worldwide.
Today, a highly sought after motivational speaker, Rudy Ruettiger entertains international corporate audiences with a unique, passionate, and heartfelt style of communicating. Ruettiger reaches school children, university students, and professional athletes with the same enthusiasm, portraying the human spirit that comes from his personal experiences of adversity and triumph. Rudy‘s captivating personality and powerful message of “YES I CAN” stays with his audiences forever. Rudy Ruettiger has shared the speaking platform with great leaders and speakers including President George Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush, Peter Lowe, Joe Montana, General Colin Powell, Christopher Reeve, and Zig Ziglar. Rudy‘s opening remarks receive thunderous applause and standing ovations from audiences of 200 to 20,000 people who emotionally chant RU-DY, RU-DY! A few of Rudy‘s media appearances include: People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, US Magazine, Readers Digest, Inside Sports, and Good Morning America.
In addition to his motivational speaking, Rudy Ruettiger has co-authored several books, including: Rudy’s Insights for Winning In Life, Rudy’s Lessons for Young Champions, and Rudy & Friends, and has produced the Dream Power tape series.
Ruettiger has recently established the Rudy Foundation, whose mission is to help children of all ages around the world reach their full potential. The Rudy Foundation develops and supports programs that positively impact the lives of children cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The Rudy Award Program was created by the Rudy Ruettiger Foundation to recognize children who make an outstanding, exceptional effort to do their personal best everyday, overcome obstacles, set goals, stay on track to reach their Dreams and build the qualities of Character, Courage, Contribution, and Commitment into their lives everyday. The Rudy Award is about a child’s heart, will to change, and desire for self-improvement.