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Lee  Woodruff

Lee Woodruff

Author & Journalist

Lee Woodruff

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.

With her down to earth, compassionate style, Woodruff has penned multiple best-selling books. She and Bob wrote a compelling account of their story titled In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. In another best-selling book, Perfectly Imperfect – A Life in Progress, Woodruff tackles the universal topics of life – including family, friends and marriage – with heart and humor. Furthermore, her first novel, Those We Love Most, became a New York Times bestseller and won the Washington Irving Book Award.

As a journalist, Lee Woodruff has spent her career in the media and marketing world. A contributor for CBS This Morning, she has also reported for Good Morning America and hosted various radio shows. Woodruff has penned numerous magazine articles on a variety of business and feature subjects and she runs a successful media training consulting business in New York. 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.

A testament to strength and grace during life's many challenges, Lee Woodruff has not only overcome immense obstacles, but has also continued to excel in her personal and professional life. In Lee’s presentations, she conveys a message of love, healing and an understanding that we’re all fighting our own battle. As a motivational speaker, Lee serves as an inspiration to anyone trying to navigate their own path. Engaging, heartfelt and candid, Lee Woodruff’s dynamic presentations remind audiences of all ages that nothing is stronger than love and hope.

Speaker Videos

An Introduction

On Resilience

ABC News Interview

A Reading From 'Perfectly Imperfect'

TEDTalk: Bob and Lee Woodruff

To Know What You Don't Know

Speech Topics

Amplifying Your Presence: How to Show Up in the Board Room or Meeting Room

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.

Bitter to Better: Lesson of Resiliency

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.”

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.

Keeping the Hope in Healthcare: The Patient & Family Perspective

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.

Caregiving: Journeys of Love & Healing

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.

It’s How You Handle It: When Cancer Changes Your Life in an Instant

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.

The Power Of We: Creating a Community of Impact

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.