Author & Journalist
Lee Woodruff knows that life can change in an instant. One minute, you’re a successful freelance writer and businesswoman, mother of four children, and wife of Bob Woodruff, the newly appointed co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. The next minute, your life turns upside down when your husband is severely wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Showing immense courage, Woodruff held her family together and became the epitome of resilience. She provided the extra support her children needed, as well as the moral and physical support to her husband during his slow, painstaking recovery. Gaining strength from their own incredible ordeal, Lee and her husband made the decision to help others, founding the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury, which has helped to raise more than $70 million to help military veterans, caregivers and their families successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive critical long-term care. Now a best-selling author, Woodruff shares her personal story with audiences, providing them with the wisdom and inspiration she learned along her remarkable, and often difficult, journey. Read More >
ABC News Interview
A Reading From 'Perfectly Imperfect'
TEDTalk: Bob and Lee Woodruff
To Know What You Don't Know
As a media and presentation coach for the past 25 plus years, Lee has worked with C-suite executives, celebrities, young “up-and-coming” executives, philanthropists and many others to help them polish their communications skills and crisp up their messaging and story-telling. Being a better communicator is a skill that can be taught and today with many of us working from home, video conference is the primary means of interaction. And it will be here to stay at some level. Lee’s presentation can cover some of the basics of what we need to know about body language, voice, message, and more to help amplify all of the talents you have. There are things we do to draw down our power and to build it up. Whether it is a corporate presentation or an hour of professional development for a team, Lee’s presentation can help make anyone feel more prepared, both in person or on a computer screen.
Lee Woodruff knows that life can change in an instant. One minute you’re a successful businesswoman, mother of four and wife to the newly-appointed anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. The next you’re receiving a phone call that your husband has been hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. While the global pandemic has delivered many lessons about flexibility, perseverance and strength, it has also highlighted the importance of personal resilience and its broader applications for families, leaders and businesses and organizations. When the bad thing happens, you have two choices, “get bitter or get better.” Read More >
Woodruff learned first-hand that human beings are built to survive, and yet some of that success depends on the way we choose to move forward. Woodruff shares her personal story of courage with candor, humor and a strength that will inspire all. She offers practical take-aways about what she learned, what it took to hold the family together, and how she stayed strong while providing a clear path forward and the emotional and physical support her children and husband needed. After Bob’s slow, painstaking recovery and return to journalism, together they founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help veterans and their families recover from the wounds of war. To date, they have raised and supported thousands of families and individuals, granting more than 70 million dollars. A best-selling author, Woodruff’s compelling story contains valuable lessons for all of us about the choices we make, how the bad thing doesn’t have to define us and the ways in which resilience is hard-wired into the human spirit. Read Less ^
When Lee’s husband, ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, was injured while covering the war in Iraq, his journey through the health-care system from the ICU to long-term rehabilitation gave Lee a first-hand view into another world. Using her family’s story of injury and recovery, she gleaned a number of insights on what helps differentiate “good” care from “great.” The one distinguishing factor is how to parse and hold hope, even in what seems like a hopeless situation. Lee has numerous examples and first-hand stories that make this a compelling talk for anyone connected to healthcare.
As a daughter, Lee Woodruff witnessed her father’s devastating, decade-long struggle with Alzheimer’s and the emotional and physical toll that it took on her mother as primary caregiver. In 2006, she found herself suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver when her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, was critically wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq and suffered a traumatic brain injury. In an instant, she went from successful writer, businesswoman and mother of four to primary caregiver, patient advocate and “General Lee,” coordinating care and keeping her family of four children afloat. In this heart-touching talk, Lee shares stories, insights and hard-won wisdom from two very different journeys of love and caregiving. She recounts what it was like when her father, once the rock of the family, became dependent on care, and when her husband at the height of a stellar news career, had to re-learn how to speak and other basics of life during a long recovery. Bringing comfort, hope and humor, Lee Woodruff connects with audiences as one who has truly been there can.
When Lee Woodruff’s husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, their lives changed in that instant. At age 30, Lee’s sister was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a brain tumor. Anyone who has faced or had someone close face a cancer diagnosis (or anything life threatening), knows the true meaning of “life changes in an instant”. Lee shares her own personal stories and inspiring examples of those who have traveled on the “grittier pavement of life.” With empathy and compassion, Lee Woodruff brings audiences together with the shared commonality that all of our lives could change in an instant. The secret, she says, is how we choose to handle it.
Following her husband’s life-threatening injury while covering the war in Iraq, Lee Woodruff was inspired to dedicate herself to ensuring that our nation’s impacted veterans, service members and their families are granted the highest level of support and resources that they deserve. Lee and her husband created The Bob Woodruff Foundation, aimed at ensuring that our veterans are thriving long after the return home. Their devoted activism and volunteerism has allowed the Woodruff family to reach 2.5 million veterans and families meet their emerging and long-term needs. Woodruff’s discussion of her work’s impact and her devotion to philanthropy demonstrates the importance of standing up for the causes most dear to us, and inspires listeners to be the change they wish to see in the world.
"Lee was terrific! She was a great speaker, wrapping details of the event and recognizing each Mental Health Champion and their successes into her presentation beautifully. She's very personable and the feedback is very positive."
"Lee’s delivery of the keynote address for the Niagara County Community College 53rd annual Commencement Ceremony provided a thoughtful perspective for our students and their loved ones on this important day in their lives. Her humor, anecdotes and inspirational message were appreciated and enjoyed by all."
"Lee Woodruff was absolutely delightful: warm, funny, inspiring and so engaging. Our guests really responded to her....gave her a standing ovation...and virtually all of them came up on stage to meet her afterward. More than 80% of the attendees bought one or both of her books as well and she patiently autographed all of them. The client was thrilled and we were, too. Thanks for all your help with this."
"Lee is an incredible speaker and did a phenomenal job. In addition to that, she is quite possibly one of the most charming people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. She was the perfect capstone to the day. We were and are thrilled with Lee’s presentation and her participation in our event made it a tremendous success!!!"
"She was terrific. Great speaker, warm, funny, great story and inspirational. I have produced the VOICES lectures for the last 15 years and Lee was one of the best. Her message is one of hope, the power of the human spirit and the importance of a community of people to overcome adversity. The audience loved her. I have built my business by finding speakers bureaus and agents who are not only concerned with their success, but with our success. Thank you for all your help in making Lee’s visit so successful"
"Lee was wonderful. She was articulate, funny, insightful and compassionate. The response from veterans, employers, public officials was very enthusiastic. I was especially pleased that she emphasized the importance of getting back to work after a serious injury. And, she incorporated the remarks of the previous speakers into her presentation. This meant a lot to the veterans who were on the panel. Lee had told me that she needed to leave by 3pm to get back to her family, but there were many people who wanted to speak to her afterwards. She stayed 30 minutes later because she wanted to connect with them. All in all, we were very impressed."
"As you probably expected, our event with Bob and Lee Woodruff at The Commonwealth Club last night was amazing and a huge success. Thank you very much for bringing them here. As you know, the event sold out at nearly 500. The bookseller brought more than 100 books and sold all but three. In addition, many people brought books in from outside. Bob and Lee are wonderful people, gracious, giving and open. Our audience left feeling so positive and inspired, not only by Bob's recovery, but by the strength two people showed as a couple and how important it is to weather the bad to get to the good. Thank you again. I look forward to working with you in the future."
"Everyone was very thankful of her presence. And folks loved the speech. Her humor, depth and sincerity were wonderful. The points were absolutely right on for this generation and for all of us. I kept thinking last night that "kiss a lot of frogs" relates to all ages and stages."
"Everything went very, very well last night. Bob and Lee are two of the most warm and wonderful people. It was an honor for me to be able to escort them. They were more then gracious and signed every last book, took photos, and spoke with everyone that waited for a chance to see them up close. Thank you again for all of your help. This has truly been one of the most successful events Quinnipiac has ever had."
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