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Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, does 'Today' show

Ted Williams on the Today show

It's really hard to believe that just 72 hours ago, Ted Williams, the self-titled "man with the golden voice," was panhandling on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.

Now he's sitting on the "Today" couch with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira and fielding job offers from the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. All because of a video shot by a Columbus Dispatch reporter and posted to the newspaper's website Monday.

Right now, Williams is in the midst of one of those crazy media storms that can overwhelm a person's life. While Williams was talking to Lauer and Vieira on NBC, his 90-year-old estranged mother was giving an interview on CBS' "Early Show."

The pair, who haven't seen each other in more than 20 years, reunited after their separate TV appearances.

Williams used his skills to kick off the "Today" broadcast this morning. Later, during the interview, Lauer expressed some concern that the sudden blast of attention would damage Williams' sobriety. (The former radio announcer said he had a long battle with drugs and alcohol, which led to his homelessness in 1993.) But Williams remained positive, saying, "This time around, Matt, I have a God, a God of my understanding, in my life."

Williams was visibly nervous during his interview, bouncing on the couch and occasionally covering his face when his misspoke. But he kept it together to joke about the Cavaliers giving him LeBron James' old house. He even had a chance to geek out on Matt and Meredith, gushing that he'd been a faithful "Today" watcher since the days of Gene Shalit, Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel.

Funny, moving and, we'll admit it, pretty inspirational. Maybe the networks should hire Williams to deliver that news about all the birds falling from the sky....


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Photo: Ted Williams gives a wave from the "Today" couch. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (51)

Just WOW!!

God answered his and his mother's prayers.

Stay close to your AA sponsor, Ted. VERY close.

And, God bless you.

My God, is there a bigger phony on TV than Matt Lauer?

Stranger and more inspiring than fiction..Stuff that movies are made of, only better cuz it's real. Lovely.

A true modern day miracle ...God does exist after all !

Happy Endings Ted!

I would also echo Matt's concerns about his soberity. It's nice that all of this is happening but too much too soon can hurt his soberity. Although it's great that he has managed to stay clean and sober for the past two years while living on the street, is to be celebrated, that is not a lot of time and who is watching out for his best interest. Everyone is offering jobs and money but I pray that someone is also offering a sponsor to work with him while all of this is going on. It would be tragic to read in six month to a year that he is back on the streets and the media coverage has stops.

I wish him the best of luck and it makes me wonder how many people out there have gone through what he has and need a second chance.

Wish him many prosperous years to come for a man with a special voice to share.

Great story. Where is GOD to help the other MILLIONS of men,women and CHILDREN out on the streets today!

It is great to see that someone cared enough to listen to us little people. I think it is great that the media has given this man a chance to speak and gather support.

However, I find it disheartening, that I have been in and out of work for over two and a half years and about to lose everything due to this economy. I have not had the alcohol problem or drug problem as your quest has had in his past. I am a hard working person and being displaced by this economy. But, I see my world falling apart soon due to this economy.

I would just like a little of the media’s attention to help me, get my message and story out to the world.

Even though, I have fallen on hard times. While visiting with my friend and now my now partner. I invented a revolutionary new product for the good of man kind while sitting at my patio table in Aug 2010. I refuse to give up.

I put my talents to work and my Friend believed in me so much that he helped co-invent and has put up the money to see this thing through to an extent. He is a retired co-worker and I don’t want to see him loose any of his hard earned money, due to the fact I am not an expert on bringing this product to market but, I am putting all of my talents to work and doing the best that I can. I just need a little help.

I feel in my heart I need to get this message out to help get this new invention to the market and put me back to work.

Everyone who as seen it Love’s it and think it is a great new product and it is full of versatility.

Preying for a Little help,

Bret A. Newman

I really reflected on the statement he made about "Not judging a book by it's cover"... so true! And that we don't know the true human story of every person, and the story of "how" they became "without a home". I hope this becomes a realization where; we as people should start to interact with one another ... there are so many times that in the every day acts of life, humans don't interact... we just move about "like mice in a maze". Once we start acknowledging each other we can start the act of communicating...and helping in anyway we can, like the reporter in Ohio who made this happen. We should all be so lucky to have someone acknowledge our talent and how we all can contribute. What a wonderful story! I wish Ted Williams the best that life offers! And I know he will share his good!

he's more interesting than either of those set pieces on the couch

Man you broke me down, your so pure and real, God blessed you, it was just time and time is now.

What a great, uplifting story...this is what America is all about...second chances...and starting over...I am just glad his mom lived to see her son turn it around...Best wishes to you Ted, looking forward to hearing that golden voice in the years to come...God Bless you and your Mom!

What a miracle that God and recovery have kept this man clean and sober to once again be reunited with his Mother after all this time. What a blessing. God is so powerful!

Dear Ted,
God blesses second chances...you are an Inspiration to more than you realize!!

I noticed when Ted Williams was reunited with his mother he stated he was doing a commercial for kraft macaroni and cheese during a football game with Nebraska and Boston College on Sunday. Am I missing something here!I dont see on Nebraska football schedule or basketball schedule that they play Boston College on Sunday. Just very curious here!!

Most homeless people didn't start out homeless! Something drove them to it. There are probably many respectable talented people out there that don't have a home. Good luck to him and I hope he finds his way back!


It is such a blessing that there are still amazing people in the world that still care. We are all the same regardless of what race people are. It takes only one person to start and others will follow. GOD BLESS Everyone out there, Please don't take what you have in life for granted. Love it comes naturally and most of all it's free for everyone. My prayer goes out to the people that are struggling to overcome a addiction, with the help of family,friends, and loved ones. May you concour your goal and succceed... GOD BLESSS

Very touching story. God heard his prayers... Good luck and be happy my friend, from someone in Montreal who is very happy for you!

WOW, WOW, and WOW!!!! This is such a great story, this is absolutely amazing. I love this. I hope Ted finds his bliss thru all the excitement, I pray he and his mother can reconnect and he can live the life as he could only dream. And I pray the media outlets do not exploit him. I'm pulling for you Ted, and I can't wait to see all the great jouneys that lie ahead for you. You are truely blessed

From what I hear on K-Love radio station is that a pastor & family took the time to speak to him and not judge him by his appearance. What a great example on how we should all live by. God sees what's in the hearts of all of us. Our outward appearance is not what's important however it is how we are judged in the outside world. May God continue to bless you and may you use your powerful testimony for the glory of our Jesus Christ!!

God has His reasons for allowing things to happen, and it's beyond human comprehension. What happened to Ted Williams is an inspiration. His past and present is enough to tell us that we should not lose hope.

Good luck to you Ted Williams, your story is an inspiration!!!!!

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