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Rudy: My Story Hardcover – September 3, 2012
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About the Author
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger is the subject of the blockbuster filmRudy and one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States. His humble background and determination to pursue his dreams, no matter the challenge, has made him legendary and an inspiration to everyone from school children to businessmen and athletes, even presidents. He established the Rudy Foundation to help children around the world and the Rudy Awards for high school and university level athletes.
Mark Dagostino is a New York Times best-selling coauthor and one of the most respected celebrity journalists in America. For ten years he served on staff in New York and LA as a correspondent, columnist, and senior writer for Peoplemagazine, interviewing personalities such as Michael J. Fox, Christopher Reeve, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, and Donald Trump.
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Top customer reviews
In the fall of 2009, I nearly died from leg problems and blood infection. I was in the hospital for a month, and the only thing that gave me the will to fight my illness, and then to follow my dream were two movies I watched over and over again on a portable DVD player while in bed. The first was The Shawshank Redemption, which was directed by Frank Darabont and based on the Stephen King novella. The message I got from the film was that a person has to either "get busy living or get busy dying." This statement became my mantra. The second movie was Rudy, starring Sean Astin. The message I got from Rudy was that" if you did the hard work and never gave up, your dreams could be achieved, no matter how impossible they might seem." In many ways those two movies saved my life and gave me the will to continue living and to move forward with my dreams, even at the ripe-old age of 59.
A few months after getting out of the hospital, I wrote Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger a short letter about the inspiration his movie had given me and how it had saved my life. He was kind enough to write back and to tell me "to never give up on my dreams, no matter what the obstacles...that dreams can be achieved." Three years later, at the age of 62, I'm still working towards making my dream come true with minor successes along the way.
Rudy's autobiography deals with his life from its beginning up to the end of 2011. His parents, who lived in Joliet, Illinois, had twelve children, and Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger was the oldest of the siblings. Because there were so many children, his father had to work three jobs to make ends meet. His dad never complained. Rudy's mother found ways to stretch every dollar that her husband brought home. To keep things straight for the parents and friends of the family, all the kids were nicknamed "Rudy". Rudy was therefore Daniel's nickname and not his given.
Throughout Rudy's early years in school, he was told by many of the teachers that he would never be a college-bound student and would have to settle for a job at one of the local plants. Since he had problems reading, studying, and his grades were low, he grew to accept that evaluation of himself. He seldom, if ever, received any positive reinforcement until a counselor told him that he could attend college, if he put his mind to it. Rudy also got some positive reinforcement from his football coach. Then, he got a chance to visit Notre Dame and to actually meet Ara Parsegehian in the football locker room. He told the coach that one day he'd be attending Notre Dame and playing for the Fighting Irish. Parsegehian told him it wouldn't be that day.
When Rudy graduated from high school, he signed up in the Navy and travelled around the world, learning what it meant to work as a team aboard a ship. One night when he was stationed with a naval officer who'd attended Notre Dame, Rudy asked the man if he thought it was possible for him to go to the university. The office gave him an affirmative and was dead serious in his answer.
Once Rudy got out of the service he moved back home and started working in the plants around Joliet. He had a close friend who encouraged him to live his dreams. When his friend was killed in an accident, Rudy went back and talked to his high school counselor. That was when he discovered the government would pay for most of his tuition if he wanted to go to college, and he did. The counselor managed to get him into Holy Cross Community College, which was just across the lake from Notre Dame. The dormitory Rudy stayed in, however, was on Notre Dame's campus.
Once he was in college, Rudy began to meet a series of people who would help him to achieve his dream of getting into Notre Dame. Unlike the movie, there was a long list of individuals who came into Rudy's life. Whenever he would become unsure about getting into the university, someone would come along with either encouragement or a plan to help. Of course, it was up to Rudy to do the necessary work and to prepare himself.
Eventually Rudy made it into Notre Dame, and the rest is history. What this book does is take you beyond Notre Dame and what took place in Rudy's life after he was carried off the football field by his team mates.
Rudy became a car salesman and excelled at it. The one thing Rudy had always been good at was talking to people. It didn't matter who they were. In time, however, the seed was planted in his mind that the whole Notre Dame episode would make a great film. So, turning his early life's story into an actual movie became his next project. It took over ten years to achieve it. The right people came into his life as did some unsavory characters who later took advantage of him once the film was in production.
A lot of people think Rudy became rich after the movie was made. Not true. What money he received for his story was used to pay off the people who sought to stop the film from being made until they received some sort of compensation for work that was never done. Rather than fight them, Rudy gave them what they wanted because he wanted to see the movie get completed. A legal fight with the people would have certainly ended production and Rudy didn't want that to happen.
After the movie was released and Rudy became an overnight sensation, he found himself financially broke and wondered how he was going to make a living. The idea of being a motivational speaker had occurred to him when he was selling cars. He loved the idea of inspiring people to do their best and not give up. So, through trial and error, that's what he did. He became a motivational speaker who traveled around the country, talking to high schools, universities, corporations, and sports teams. He eventually set up a charity for children who wanted to live the "Rudy" message.
Living out of a suitcase three hundred days of the year can become grueling over a period of time, especially when you have a family at home. This was what Rudy faced in his later years. He decided to find a way to make enough money so he could spend more time with his wife and children. This led to some bad choices. What Rudy learned from all this is that he'd taken his eyes off the ball and had paid a horrible price for it. Everything he'd struggled so hard to achieve had been lost.
Rudy discovered that though a person may achieve his dreams, it doesn't mean there won't be highs and lows. He also learned it was vital he start over again and apply everything he had to making a new inspiration a success...a dream of helping the young people of America to reach their goals and to become happy and successful.
Though I've covered many of the major highlights of Rudy's autobiography, this is really only the tip of the iceberg concerning the many things that occurred throughout his amazing life. None of what Rudy achieved came easy. He had to work hard, which was something his father had taught him as a child. Rudy also needed motivation, determination, patience, and the ability to recognize a window of opportunity when it opened.
Rudy definitely proved it was possible for a boy from the opposite side of the tracks to make his dreams come true. Nothing was handed to him. He had to work to achieve everything that came into his life. The important thing is that though he hit many low periods, he never gave up. Often that makes the difference between a winner and a loser. A winner never gives up, no matter how hard everything seems to be.
Rudy is also the first to say that none of it could have been achieved without the help of God. He prayed on many things, especially understanding. God was always there to guide him on the right path as long as he kept his focus on the important things of life.
One very important message that Rudy's life story presents is that each person must find their own path to follow. Rudy's own personal journey wouldn't necessarily be right for someone else. Each individual must examine his or her dreams and then do it. Find out what it takes to make the dream come true, and then do the hard work required to making it happen.
Anybody can be a "Rudy" by doing this.
Rudy: My Story certainly came to me at a time when I needed a boost in my own journey. This is the inspiration I needed, and I personally feel this book will inspire anyone attempting to make their dreams happen. Watch the movie, and then read the story behind it. Or, do the opposite, but always remember that dreams can come true if you're willing to do the work.
(A) the formal name of the university is "The University of Notre Dame" (actually "The University of Notre Dame du Lac" ["Our Lady of the Lake] NOT "Notre Dame University"
(B) Holy Cross College was then known as "Holy Cross Junior College", NOT "Holy Cross Community College"
(C) Notre Dame NEVER merged with St. Mary's College (across the road from Notre Dame). They briefly explored the idea of a merger but decided not to pursue it (actually St. Mary's wanted to maintain its unique identity). Notre Dame first started admitting women undergraduates the year before I entered ND (1973), and phased in coeducation over the next several years.
(D) The ACC (now the "Joyce Center") was known as the Athletic and Convocation Center NOT the Athletic and Community Center.\
Did the author actually proof-read this book?
Most recent customer reviews
The movie, "Rudy", does a wonderful job capturing the real-life...Read more