By now you’ve probably hear about YouTube sensation Ted Williams. In case you haven’t, the backstory is this: Williams is a 53-year-old homeless man in Ohio who fell on hard times after years of admittedly abusing drugs and alcohol. A former radio announcer, Williams most recent job involved pan handling with a sign informing motorists of his “God given gift of voice.” Doral Chenoweth, a photographer/videographer Columbus Dispatch employee made a video of Williams which was uploaded to YouTube, and gained momentum after being posted to Reddit where users raised $1000 to donate to Williams.
Off topic, can we officially crown Reddit as the most best community site going? They may not have 500 million members, but they seem to have an unusually high percentage of awesome people.
Back to the story, the online attention eventually pushed the video over into the mainstream media where numerous television stations broadcast the video and less than 24-hours later offers for Ted Williams started pouring in.
ween the video gaining popularity and the media attention, Williams got a haircut and cleaned up a bit and now bears a resemblance to both President Obama and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The Cleveland Cavaliers offered Williams a full-time job with housing assistance from Quicken loans, and offers from around (and outside of) the country are pouring in for voice-over work and announcements. On an appearance on the CBS Early Show, he said he’s looking forward to visiting his 92-year-old mother. Williams choked up a bit when explaining that one of his prayers was that she would live long enough to see him rebound.
The Smoking Gun has a list of his rap sheet which includes drug and theft related crimes. Considering Williams honestly admits that he’d struggled with substance abuse, and has been homeless for a decade, it’s not exactly shocking and hopefully won’t derail any of the offers coming in that will help him out with a second chance.