Against all odds, under Indiana's famed "Golden Dome," Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger carved his name into the 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 fourteen children, Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success.
It took years of fierce determination to overcome his athletic and academic obstacles, yet Ruettiger achieved his lifelong 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 twenty-seven 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. TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the 1993 blockbuster film, Rudy. Written and produced by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the award-winning team behind the classic sports movie Hoosiers, Rudy continues to inspire millions worldwide.
Today, Ruettiger entertains international corporate audiences with his unique, passionate and heartfelt speaking style. 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" resonates with audiences long after his presentations end.
Ruettiger has shared the speaking platform with great leaders and motivators including President George H.W. Bush, former First Lady Barbara Bush, Joe Montana, and General Colin Powell. His inspirational true story has also been seen in a variety of media, including People, Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, The 700 Club, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight.
In addition to his motivational speaking tours, Ruettiger has also co-authored several books, including Rudy's Insights for Winning in Life, Rudy's Lessons for Young Champions and Rudy & Friends.
Ruettiger's nonprofit organization, 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 Foundation to recognize children who make exceptional effort to do their personal best every day, overcome obstacles, set goals and remain committed to their dreams. The Rudy Award is about a child's heart, will to change, and desire for self-improvement.