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. Read More >
The Unsung Hero: The Caregiver (Promo)
ABC News Interview
A Reading From 'Perfectly Imperfect'
TEDTalk: Bob and Lee Woodruff
To Know What You Don't Know
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. Read More >
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. Read Less ^
When her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, barely survived a roadside bomb attack in Iraq, the prognosis wasn’t good. But Lee Woodruff never gave up. She kept telling everyone involved in his care: "You don’t know my husband. You don’t know my Bob. He’s a fighter. He’s smart and he wants to live!” Read More >
In this insightful and highly inspirational talk, Lee Woodruff shares her family’s journey through the healthcare system and her role as patient advocate/caregiver through months of cognitive and physical therapy following traumatic brain injury. Lee asserts that the relationships that are built between healthcare professionals and the patient and their family can only result in positive patient outcomes. It’s a reminder that respect, communication, kindness and hope (all of which the Woodruffs experienced) are free to provide and often what families value most. Even in a terminal situation, the human side of medicine is just as critical as the science. From food service and maintenance, to physicians and nurses, Lee recognizes the role that healthcare professionals played not only in her husband’s miraculous recovery, but in all patient's recovery. Lee is always quick to thank audiences for the work that they do. “Thank you,” is something that, she acknowledges, “Most people in healthcare don’t hear enough, but should.” Read Less ^
Whether it’s a child in a car accident, a spouse’s request for a divorce, a patient’s stroke, a diagnosis of breast cancer, or a terrorist attack on a warm day in September—life can change in an instant for us all. Read More >
As co-author of In An Instant, the #1 New York Times best seller, Lee Woodruff recounts her story of a marriage, a family, a crisis and a healing. When her husband, ABC’s newly appointed co-anchor Bob Woodruff, was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq, Woodruff’s life changed in an instant. She had to learn to put her own grief aside to care for her children, as well as her husband, who was gravely injured and close to death. In the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu—"Suffering is not optional. It seems to be part and parcel of the human condition, but suffering can embitter or ennoble."
Woodruff speaks with grace and humor about her own family’s experience and how they chose to attack the crisis that befell them, resulting in a life-changing journey of love, healing and miracles for her whole family. Read Less ^
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”. Read More >
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. Read Less ^
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.
Drawing from her essay in the book On Being 40 (ish), Lee Woodruff explores the twists and turns of life and aging. Lee proclaims that there is a mythical belief in a perfect stretch of time mid-life when the ocean waters are still and the waves have subsided. Maybe it’s that the kids are now self-sufficient, maybe you have your career on track, maybe you feel financially secure and you’ve figured out what you need to be happy. Then, that dose of reality hits when the tide turns and the metaphorical tsunami is headed your way. Maybe you’re parenting a child with a disability, caring for a severely injured spouse or a loved one with dementia, or, as Lee experienced, doing it all at the same time. Sharing her own journey, Lee tackles the conversations that no one tells you about as we get older. Inspiring us to "reinvent, repurpose, renew, re-engage, re-energize and reboot," Lee says the secret to surviving it all is to be a "bobber," staying above the surface and riding out the waves.
"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."