Home » Rudy Ruettiger Net Worth: From Football Dreams to Motivational Speaker

Rudy Ruettiger Net Worth: From Football Dreams to Motivational Speaker

by Mahmood Rehan
Net Worth$500000
Date of BirthAugust 23, 1948
Place of BirthJoliet, Illinois
ProfessionAuthor, Motivational Speaker
SpouseCheryl Ruettiger
NationalityUnited States of America

Rudy Ruettiger, widely known as “Rudy,” has captured the hearts of many through his inspirational journey from a dreamy underdog to a renowned motivational speaker. This article delves into the life of Rudy Ruettiger, exploring his net worth, career, achievements, family, and more. Born on August 23, 1948, Rudy is now 75 years old, but his story continues to inspire people worldwide.

Short Bio – Famous For

Rudy is famous for his remarkable story of determination and grit, which inspired the iconic 1993 film, “Rudy,” starring Sean Astin. Born in Joliet, Illinois, Rudy Ruettiger’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a symbol of perseverance has left an indelible mark on the world.

Career & Achievements

Rudy’s journey to fame began with a burning desire to play football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Despite being considered too short at 5 feet 6 inches and facing numerous rejections, Rudy’s relentless pursuit of his dream led him to the University of Notre Dame. In 1975, he achieved his moment of glory when he played as a defensive end in a Notre Dame game against Georgia Tech. His single sack in that game earned him a place in history as the first player to be carried off the field at Notre Dame, a moment immortalized in the film “Rudy.”

After his college football days, Rudy Ruettiger ventured into various career paths, including setting up a successful maintenance company and working in real estate. However, it was his decision to share his story that truly defined his post-football career. Rudy became a motivational speaker, inspiring audiences of all ages with his tale of overcoming odds and never giving up on one’s dreams.

Rudy Ruettiger has also co-written several books, including “Rudy’s Insight for Winning in Life” and “Rudy & Friends,” further spreading his message of perseverance and determination.


Rudy Ruettiger was born into a large family, being the third of 14 children. Despite facing challenges, he pursued his dreams with unwavering support from his family, especially his father, who provided significant financial assistance for him to attend Notre Dame.

Rudy Ruettiger and his wife, Cheryl Ruettiger, have been married for over 40 years and have three children together. Cheryl is the co-founder and executive director of the Rudy Foundation, a philanthropic organization that has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to students across the United States. Together, they are dedicated to empowering young people through education, sports, and the performing arts. Cheryl is also an accomplished actress and producer, contributing to the world of cinema. Their partnership in life and philanthropy serves as a powerful example of love, dedication, and the transformative impact of giving back to the community.

Rudy Ruettiger wife
Image by Jim Smeal/Getty Images

Sources of Income

Rudy Ruettiger’s primary source of income comes from his career as a motivational speaker. He travels the world, sharing his story and inspiring others to pursue their goals relentlessly. Additionally, he has earned income through his books and various speaking engagements.

Net Worth Figure and Rankings

As of the latest available information, Rudy Ruettiger’s net worth is estimated at $500 thousand. While he may not be among the wealthiest individuals in the world, his impact on people’s lives through his motivational speaking and the enduring legacy of the film “Rudy” make him a true wealth of inspiration.

Lifestyle and Expenses

Details about Rudy Ruettiger’s current lifestyle and expenses are not readily available. However, it is reasonable to assume that his income from speaking engagements, book sales, and related activities supports his comfortable lifestyle.

Controversies/Financial Challenges

In 2011, Rudy Ruettiger faced legal troubles when he was charged with securities fraud in connection with his role as Chairman of Rudy Beverage, Inc. The government alleged a pump-and-dump scheme, and a settlement required him to pay $382,866 in fines. Rudy later acknowledged his mistakes and shared his experience in his book, “Rudy: My Story,” attributing his actions to chasing financial success.


Rudy Ruettiger’s journey from a determined underdog to a renowned motivational speaker is a testament to the power of perseverance and unwavering belief in one’s dreams. Despite facing financial challenges and legal troubles in his later years, Rudy’s positive impact on countless lives continues to shine brightly. His net worth, while not in the millions, is a reflection of the wealth of inspiration and hope he has brought to people worldwide. Rudy’s story serves as a reminder that with determination and resilience, anyone can achieve their dreams, making him a true American icon.


What did Rudy Ruettiger do for a living?

Rudy Ruettiger is a motivational speaker and author, known for sharing his inspiring life story to inspire others. In 2011, he faced legal issues related to securities fraud in connection with his role as Chairman of Rudy Beverage, Inc. Despite this, he continued his career as a motivational speaker.

What does Rudy do now?

As of now, Rudy Ruettiger has transitioned into a multifaceted career. He is a motivational speaker, author, pastor, and the founder of the Rudy Foundation. The Rudy Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships to college students, showcasing his commitment to helping others achieve their dreams despite the challenges he has faced in the past.

How old is the real Rudy Ruettiger?

The real Rudy Ruettiger was born on August 22, 1948, and he is currently 75 years old.

Who did Rudy Ruettiger marry?

Rudy Ruettiger married Cheryl Ruettiger in 1996.

What is Rudy’s religion?

Rudy Ruettiger was baptized into the Latter-day Saint (LDS) faith in 2017.

Featured Image Credits: Robert Mora/Getty Images

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