Michael Oher
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Michael Oher

The Blind Side

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About Him

Grew Up… without a mother. His alcoholic and crack addicted mother abandoned Michael when he was very young, leaving him to fend for himself. After circulating through several foster homes, Michael has almost given up hope.

Living… in his new home with the Touhy family. Michael was taken in by the compassionate Leigh Anne Touhy, who found him walking down the highway in freezing cold weather wearing nothing but a t-shirt. 

Profession… student at Wingate Christian School. Michael, despite his poor academic record, was brought to the school to play football. Though, when Leigh Anne takes him in, she discovers that there’s much more to Michael than his physical strength. 

Interests… football. Michael’s large build and upper body strength have made him a natural defensive lineman. His real talent, though, lies in his instincts. Leigh Anne brags on his behalf, telling the coach that Michael scored in the 98th percentile in “protective instincts” on an aptitude test. When he’s having trouble at his first practice, Leigh Anne tells Michael to think of his teammates as his family. After that, his instincts kick in and his talent shines through.

Challenge… working his way up to college football and, eventually, the NFL. Michael, it turns out, just needed the right opportunity in order to be successful in life. With the help of the kind and generous Touhy family, he’ll be able to go to college and play football, but only if he can get a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Personality… sweet, shy and gentle. Michael is a beast on the gridiron, but off the field he’s a gentle giant who often proves to be wiser than he seems. As he puts it: “I mean, any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason you either do something or you don’t.”

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