It was just another day for homeless man Ted Williams. He was working the streets of Columbus, Ohio when his life took a sudden turn. On January 3, 2011, Doral Chenoweth a videographer for the local newspaper,The Columbus Dispatch saw him standing on a street corner with a “will work for food.” She had seen this man before, working the same corner, but on this day she set out to find out what caused his financial hardships. What Williams got was a golden ticket to fame that he never saw coming.


How His World All Fell Apart

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ted Williams told Chenoweth about his life. He told her how he had proudly served his country for three years in the United States Army where he was honorably discharged due to health issues. Williams attended school for voice acting after becoming inspired by a radio announcer after a field trip when he was 14 years old. He became the father of seven girls and two boys. However, soon his life would change for the worse.

Ted William’s downward spiral began in 1986. He soon turned to drugs and alcohol. The result cost him his career and before he knew it he was being evicted from his home. The eviction caused him to sink into a deep depression and he began experimenting with harder drugs. He was evicted and had no place to go and in 1994, Ted Williams was homeless. His poor life choices landed him in jail seven times for charges including criminal trespassing, drugs, robbery, theft, forgery, solicitation and more. Despite suffering from both depression and drug addiction, deep down inside Ted Williams still held hope.

15 Minutes of Fame

During the interview, Williams told Chenoweth how he took voice lessons. It was always his dream to be a radio broadcaster. He loved his voice, but the years of depression and drug abuse had left him with very little desire or belief in himself. Chenoweth asked him to show her what he could do with that voice. The video that was released to the world showed Williams getting money from those passing by, as he attempted to do a demo for the Columbus Dispatch employee. At the end of the video, Williams told his amazing story. Chenoweth put the video on YouTube to share with the world.
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