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The Tuohy Family  

Inspirational Subjects of The Blind Side

The Tuohy family’s life, as chronicled in Lewis’ New York Times number one best-seller The Blind Side, went on to become a record-breaking Hollywood blockbuster that earned more than $260 million at the box office and became the number-one opening weekend for a sports film in history.

“Sean was an American success story: he had come from nothing and made himself rich,” wrote Michael Lewis in The Blind Side, the best-selling book that inspired the major motion picture. Sean Tuohy married his college cheerleader sweetheart, the former Leigh Anne Roberts, 28 years ago. Sean Tuohy was a record-breaking University of Mississippi “Ole Miss” basketball player before becoming a successful entrepreneur and NBA broadcaster. Drafted by the NBA’s New Jersey Nets in 1982, Sean continued his career overseas before returning to the US to be with his father in his final days. Sean became a successful entrepreneur, building a company that now owns and operates 70 fast food restaurants, including Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s. Sean is in his ninth season as an NBA broadcaster for the Memphis Grizzlies, after several years as an analyst for radio broadcasts at Ole Miss as well as national broadcasts for Westwood One and CBS Radio.

Dubbed a “warrior princess” in The Blind Side, Leigh Anne is the inspirational matriarch of the Tuohy family. A Memphis, Tennessee native, Leigh Anne attended Briarcrest Christian School and went on to graduate from Ole Miss with a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design. Leigh Anne owns “Flair I,” an interior design firm with her mother and partner, Virginia Roberts. Her work has been featured on HGTV, in numerous publications, and she has designed for such clients as Peyton Manning, Scottie Pippin, Isaac Bruce and OJ Mayo.

Sean and Leigh Anne are the proud parents of daughter Collins (23) and sons Michael Oher (23) and Sean, Jr. (16). Collins Tuohy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Ole Miss. An exceptional student and influential role model on campus, she was the President of the Student Alumni Council, President of Student Spirit Committee, an Officer for the Kappa Delta Sorority and an Ole Miss Varsity Cheerleader, supporting Michael Oher—also an Ole Miss student—from the sidelines.

“Who knows where I’d be?” says Michael, who with the love and support of the Tuohys, improved as a student and became the most sought after player in college and professional football. At 6-foot-5, 309 pounds, Michael’s size and athleticism had professional scouts and recruiters pegging him as a first-round NFL draft pick as soon as he stepped on the field; he is now an offensive tackle and first-round draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens.

Almost two years after The Blind Side burst onto the scene, breaking box office records and inspiring individuals nationwide, Leigh Anne and Sean continue to make an impact. In July 2010, the couple released their New York Times best-seller, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, and established their charity, Making it Happen. Through both projects, Leigh Anne and Sean continue their mission to inspire hope, ignite generosity, and make it happen for the deserving, but underserved youth.

The Tuohy family is actively involved in many civic and faith-based organizations, including Grace Evangelical Church, of which they are founding members.

At the podium, they invite audiences to go behind-the-scenes of the Tuohy household with a heartwarming message: “In our house, we believe in miracles.”

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