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 the third of 14 children, Rudy 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. He 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 award-winning team who brought us HOOSIERS, 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 entertains international corporate audiences with a unique, passionate, and heartfelt style of communicating. He 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. His captivating personality and powerful message of “YES I CAN” stays with his audiences forever. 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!”
Rudy has appeared on various high profile nationally televised talk shows and radio shows across the country, is featured in national magazine publications, and has been honored with the key to many cities in the United States with special proclamations for his inspiration, commitment, and human spirit. Rudy received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, the Distinguished American Award, A Proclamation from the Governor of Nevada granting an Official Rudy Award Day, was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, and spoke at the White House during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
He co-founded the RUDY FOUNDATION, whose mission is to strengthen communities by offering scholarships in education, sports, and the performing arts.