Ted Williams: Don’t judge a book by its cover

If you haven’t yet heard of Ted Williams, you need to. He has a great story.

At the beginning of this week, Ted Williams was homeless. He was begging on the streets, panhandling at intersections.

Early this week he stood by the side of Interstate 71 in Columbus Ohio holding a sign that said, “I have a God given gift of voice,” asking for help.

A reporter for the Columbus Dispatch saw the sign and chose to video the interaction. He posted the amazing video on YouTube and it instantly went viral, getting over 13 million views in just around 48 hours (an unprecedented explosion of popularity).

Here’s the video:

What happens next is nothing short of motivating, inspirational, and just plain amazing.

He was invited onto several shows, including the Today Show, CBS Morning News, and numerous others. The Today Show flew him to his hometown, New York City, where he was able to meet his mother, whom he hadn’t seen in more than a decade.

Williams tells his story of starting out as a radio announcer, but falling into alcohol and drugs. They took over his life and he lost everything. His family (nine kids—seven daughters and two sons), wife, home, job, everything.

Living in a tent, he finally decided he needed a change. He’d been clean for two years.

In the aftermath of the viral video, thankfully captured and uploaded to YouTube, he’s been offered numerous jobs, including becoming the official voice for Kraft, an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, and more. Quicken even called him up and gave him a fully-paid mortgage to buy a house or apartment.

Through it all, he’s repeatedly offering up his gratitude in these public interviews.

On the Today show, just a few days after being discovered, he was asked if he had a newfound appreciation for the homeless, to which he replied:

“Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Everybody has their own little story.”

Here are some videos chronicling the inspirational journey.

Recap on RT

Interview with Today Show

Interview with CBS

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