Homeless man with the golden voice gets job, house, trip to see mother (update)

Just yesterday I saw this video on D-Listed of a homeless man in Columbus, Ohio with the voice of a national radio announcer. 53 year-old Ted Williams had been on the streets for about a year after losing everything due to drug and alcohol addiction. Williams explained that he’s been sober for two years, though, and was hoping to find employment using his amazing voice.

Thanks to the massive near-instant popularity of the video, Williams got a haircut and an interview on the CBS Early Show, where he got choked up when he revealed that someone had gifted him a trip to Brooklyn to visit his 92 year-old mother, who he hasn’t seen in years. He called his overnight change of fate “sensational,” “numbing” and “overwhelming.” He also noted that people have compared him to Susan Boyle.

The good fortune for Williams hasn’t stopped there. He’s earned that job that he was hoping for, and has been offered a position with basketball team The Cleveland Cavaliers as an announcer. They’re even going to pay for his house! Here’s audio of his radio interview with the job offer. Their rep explains that they’ve been inspired by “the power of your voice, the power of your dreams and the power of your vision.” She explained that “We’d like to offer you full time work with both the Cleveland Cavaliers as well as the Quicken Loans Arena. We have a lot of amazing voiceover opportunities. We do tons of commercial work, we do tons of broadcast work both on radio as well as television… because we know that you’re a person who is trying to get… on your feet, Quicken Loans is actually offering to pay a mortgage on a home.” Williams said “That’s the best deal ever.”
(Job offer starts at 5:31) [via Filmdrunk]

Williams later exclaimed “The Cleveland Cavaliers have offered me a full time job and a house!” What a truly inspiring story this is.

Update: Here’s Williams on The Today Show. He says that the last time he was in New York was 1986, before he got addicted to drugs. He’s also been offered a job with Kraft. This story got me all choked up.


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53 Responses to “Homeless man with the golden voice gets job, house, trip to see mother (update)”

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  1. brin says:

    This is a great story and goes to the use of Youtube for good! I wish Ted the very best in his new life….talent will not be denied!

  2. Praise St. Angie! says:

    The interwebs done good this time…a nice change from the status quo of constant vitriol.

    what a nice story.

  3. bagladey says:

    God is good!

  4. fanny says:

    Priceless! This man is getting another chance at life not only because of his fabulous voice. His willingness to stay clean and sober and his ability to market himself with that small handwritten sign EVEN when he was on the street is brilliant and inspiring. I wish him all the best in the world!

  5. Anaya says:

    Awww. I love this guy! I teared up hearing him tell his story. Amazing.

  6. Samigirl says:

    I’m on my cycle, so of course I cried buckets reading/watching this. So happy for this man! Sorry for the TMI, but I’m really not much of a softie.

  7. latam2012 says:

    it got me, tears.

  8. Eileen says:

    I love this story! Please please not let this new fame break his sobriety! It will break my heart!!

  9. Darlene says:

    Beautiful, beautiful story. I wish him the best and I pray he will have the strength to keep his life on track with these successes.

  10. Moreaces says:

    Very nice, positive and refreshing news story. Nice to hear one for a change

  11. nnn says:

    What a lovely soul and great story !

  12. Roma says:

    Lindsay Lohan, please see how rehabilitation and humility are done.

  13. Gwen says:

    This story makes me cry. Good for him and I hope everythnig works out well for him.

  14. poopie says:

    wishing Ted the very best for MANY YEARS to come. please don’t let the FAME get to you and bring you down. hang tough.

  15. malachais says:

    awesome on so many levels! Glad to hear Ted was given a second chance at life after becoming sober.

  16. Darla says:

    Some nice dentist needs to offer to fix his teeth.

  17. DGO says:

    His voice is amazing! How does he DO that?!! I could listen to him all day.

  18. Stubbylove says:

    I saw him being interviewed on the Today Show this morning. He really seems like a very nice person and he does have a rockin’ voice. This is a really cool story – I hope the best for him and his family!

  19. lucy2 says:

    What a great story! I wish him the best, and also to those who reached out to help him.

  20. Twinkle says:

    I love this story…this is what happens when you never give up no matter what your situation may be. Never, never give up!

  21. SoulLovah says:

    Hands down, favorite story of the past year. Will probably end up being my favorite story of 2011. What an inspiration!

  22. MarenGermany says:

    This story made me cry a little.

    All the best for him, his life and his sobriety.

  23. mel says:

    I wish him the best!

  24. mimi says:

    This will make me cry if I watch, I’m misty just reading the blurb written! I’ll wait until I get home so as not to embarass myself during the workday…

  25. Stef says:

    What a great story…I wish this guy the very best. It’s always wonderful to see people given opportunities to change their lives. I hope this man succeeds in all he does and has a wonderful life!

  26. I Choose Me says:

    My thoughts exactly Praise Saint Angie. I saw this on TV yesterday evening and I actually got a little choked up.

  27. Rosanna says:

    God, I LOVE America! Only in America everybody CAN have a chance. I just LOVE it.

  28. Dizzybenny says:

    his life story coming in a movie in 3,2,1….staring Don Cheadle.

  29. ohplease says:

    truly inspiring..

  30. Heaven bound says:

    Thanks for posting this story. I saw this on D listed and it just touched my heart.

  31. WhiteNoise says:

    Such a great story. Makes me feel all warm inside (and all blurry-eyed and tearful outside!)

  32. Katija says:

    @ Rosanna

    I’ve said some pretty liberal things here, and most of the commentors here tend to hold those opinions…so not to sound like a cheesy Palin kid…but America really is the land of opportunity. This story made me cry, and it reminded me amongst all the bad stories in the news that at the end of the day, this is still the land where dreams can and will come true.

  33. Gary says:

    Congratz Ted Williams your voice is golden so is your heart! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJmKFerj8Zo

  34. Gistine says:

    Yay! More of this please!

  35. pebbles says:


  36. Dannii says:

    totally agree bagladey!

  37. JRenee says:

    Wish him the very best. It’s good to see so many people rooting for him. I hope that he stays on track and inspires others. His voice is great!

  38. WhiteNoise says:

    @Rosanna – “…Only in America everybody CAN have a chance.”

    I don’t want to get into an argument on this thread but things like this happen all over the world. It is not exclusive to America. This is a lovely story and I wish the guy nothing but the best but let’s not get carried away that it’s an ‘only in America’ occurrence. This is about people and compassion and optimism, not nationalities and countries.

  39. latam2012 says:

    what i like most about this is that he genuinely seems like a really sweet, kind hearted and humble guy. even in the first video before any of this happened he was just kept saying thank you to whoever was filming.

    He told his story and wasnt bitter, accepted some of the blame but didnt seem to be angry.

    it’s all so nice

  40. Jeannified says:

    Go, Ted! Congrats on your well deserved job offers. You have gotten your life together and put God first, so he has repaid you for that. See…all is possible with God in your life!

  41. Camille says:

    I saw this story on TV yesterday and it made my day 🙂 . Wonderful story, I hope all goes well for him.

  42. Mistral says:

    What a beautiful story of faith and redemption. Good luck Ted!!! I hope that you are reunited with your entire family, that you can all heal and forgive each other, and that there is nothing but success, unity, good health, and happiness from this point forward.

  43. Dingles says:

    I am SO happy for this man that our country seems to have collectively helped up out of the gutter and given him his shot at the American Dream. He’s earned it with his talent, kindness and attitude.

    I am equally as anxious about him staying sober and how he’s going to handle this (literally) instant fame and fortune. I really, really hope he gets some form of counseling and is able to hold onto this amazing second chance. Like most who’ve been following this story, I’d be heartbroken if it turns out badly.

  44. kiko says:

    wow..WOW.his voice is like velvet to my ears!

  45. KatScorp says:

    Oh Celebitchy! I’m sobbing and inspired and weepy and happy and crying and smiling. There’s tears of joy in my coffee.

    @Dizzybenny: Yep, my first thought was also that this dude looks like Don Cheadle.

  46. DDD Cups of Justice says:

    The people at WNCI have always been some of the best radio deejays, in my opinion. I miss them a ton compared to the obnoxious ones here in Madison, WI that wouldn’t give this guy a second glance without making a joke about him. I wish this man the very best in his new journey.

  47. moops says:

    I live in Columbus. Before Ted got flown out to N.Y., people first had to find him and figure out who he was. The guys at WNCI and all of their callers (esp. an old friend and Brooklyn-transplant who identified him by name and gave them his background) found Ted, brought him in to the radio show, and rest was history. The positive feedback was amazing. One caller in town offered $15,000 of her own $ to help him. It was very inspiring watching this story unfold.

  48. ohduho says:

    I don’t find this guys story inspiring or heroic or even positive.

    I find it proof that people who choose to screw up over and over again will sure be given every advantage to repeat their errors over and over again while those who don’t screw up will continue to be out of work and on the verge of losing everything.

    I need to get myself a drug addiction, a criminal record, many children by many different men and a place panhandling on an off ramp to catch an excellent break.

    I just have to remember not to be Michael Vick or Lindsey Lohan in order to get the golden “second chance”.

  49. Mary says:

    I pray the media doesn’t take advantage of him. His journey, his story very touching, and I also cried. Seeing him on the Today Show, he was really overwhelmed and it showed. I wanted to protect him. I hope you has a great support system and he has people that really wants to help him not for the moment, but for the long run. Too much of a good thing can have consequences. Bless you Ted Williams.

  50. jane says:

    Let’s hope he learns his lesson this time. Everyone deserves a second chance and God must be on his side this time. I saw another interview with his mother who said he had a great job and family, but he destroyed it all with drugs and alchohol. At least he admitted that he did wrong.

  51. Angel says:

    @ohduhho … you seem to be very, very confused about … everything.

    Excuse me while I get on my soapbox….

    AHEM. Every single person that has ever lived has screwed up, over and over again. What makes a person heroic is a simple thing really, and that thing is bravery; the personal bravery not to let those screw ups overcome them, not to allow the fear of their own demons, their struggles, their ‘screw ups’, to outweigh the will to keep going and keep fighting despite them. Finding the will to overcome them so that greater opportunity can be theirs for the taking. That’s how the world works at its best.

    Bravery is not the lack of fear, but the realization that there are things greater than your own fear. He had to have realized that to get to this point, whether you like it or not, and he deserves to be rewarded for that, as all virtues should be rewarded. It’s a very narrow scope you’ve got; there are great, big things in the human spirit. Our ‘screw ups’ do not define us, and you should stop letting them define others for you.

    Yes, this man is absolutely a modern day hero. He beat all the odds, even the ones he stacked up against himself. Nearly sixty years old, lost everything because of huge mistakes, and instead of giving up, deciding he’d lived most of his life already and there was nothing in store for him, he got sober, got up, and wrote a simple message on a small piece of cardboard telling the world what he could do right, and that he was willing to do it. Why on earth resent him for that? And the world for listening? It just seems so petty and … sad.

    The main thing is, when you think of things in that sort of light, that sort of ‘people who make big mistakes should suffer big and people who have not should be rewarded’, you imply that not ever making mistakes is the admirable thing. That isn’t what bravery, or courage, or heroism is about at all.
    And to place yourself on a pedestal as you seem to be doing here … the irony is that you are lower than him, and all of those others you mention. At least they have a chance at redemption, because though their choices are wrong, they aren’t nearly as blinding, stifling, and detrimental to humanity and themselves as the petty cynicism and entitled attitude your words exhibit. He rose above himself … you should, too.

    /If this sounds ranty, or preachy, it’s because it is. The short version might be … get ovah yourself.

    I wish the best for Ted; I trust he has been through hell and, more importantly, back. His mental and emotional fortitude will prevent him from making the same mistakes again. Go Ted!

  52. Jag says:

    Love this story and so glad y’all covered it! 🙂

    Saw it yesterday on Inside Edition, if memory serves me, and was all teary-eyed about it. Howard Stern, though, thinks it’s a hoax, which upset Williams when he was told about it while doing an interview at a radio station.

    Hopefully, he’ll stay sober and will continue to be blessed. 🙂

  53. Abby says:

    Does anyone else think he looks like an older version of Obama?

    I do.