Rudy Ruettiger Net Worth: Wiki, Wife, Height, Career & More

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Rudy Ruettiger Net Worth: Wiki, Wife, Height, Career & More

 Rudy Ruettiger’s Net Worth


Daniel Eugene ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, born in 1948, is widely recognized as an American author, motivational speaker, and former college football player. Battling academic challenges stemming from dyslexia, he encountered formidable hurdles in securing admission to the esteemed University of Notre Dame. However, undeterred by setbacks, he persevered and realized his aspiration of joining the university’s football team. 

Presently, Rudy is happily married with two children and has been bestowed with honorary doctorates from prestigious institutions such as Long Island University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Demonstrating a vibrant online presence, particularly on Instagram, he finds solace in outdoor pursuits and nourishes his love for cinema. Rudy’s accomplishments transcend his athletic endeavors, as evidenced by his commendable net worth exceeding $550,000.

What Is Rudy Ruettiger’s Net Worth?

As of the year 2023, Rudy Ruettiger’s net worth stands at approximately $550,000. Rudy’s financial accumulation stems from a multifaceted approach, encompassing earnings derived from his cinematic portrayal, engagements as a motivational speaker, and the sales of his literary works such as “Rudy: My Story” and “Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On”, among others. Additionally, his involvement in various entrepreneurial endeavors over the years has contributed to his financial prosperity. Notably, Rudy’s net worth surpasses the median net worth of American households aged between 65 and 74, which is recorded at $266,400, highlighting his significant achievement. An intriguing aspect of Rudy’s financial trajectory is the revelation that, had he not been compelled to settle with the SEC in 2011 for an amount exceeding $382,866, due to a complaint lodged against him and a few associates, he would likely have attained millionaire status by now.

Rudy Ruettiger’s Money Metrics

Money MetricAmount
Net Worth$550,000
Earnings Per Year$43,446
Per Month$3,620
Per Week$835
Per Day$119
Per Hour$4.97
Per Minute$0.08
Per Second$0.001

Who is Rudy Ruettiger?

Who is Rudy Ruettiger?

Daniel Eugene ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, an American author and motivational speaker, entered the world in Joliet, Illinois, USA, on August 23, 1948, under the zodiac sign of Virgo. While pursuing his education at the University of Notre Dame, he ventured into college football, a journey that would later inspire the creation of the critically acclaimed 1993 biographical sports film, “Rudy”. Directed by David Anspaugh, the movie featured notable actors such as Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, and Ned Beatty. It narrates the story of a determined young man who defied the odds, overcoming the belief that he was too small to excel in football, eventually earning a spot on the Notre Dame team. “Rudy” received widespread recognition, winning two out of its three award nominations, and continues to inspire audiences with its tale of perseverance and triumph.

Where was Reuttiger born?

According to Bleacher Report, Rudy Ruettiger was born in 1948, making him the third child among a total of 14 siblings. Raised in a blue-collar family outside of Chicago, he developed a deep passion for Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, a love instilled in him by his father, who toiled in a mine. 

Reflecting on his upbringing, Rudy emphasized the importance of chores and outdoor activities in his household during a podcast interview in November 2023. He recalled a childhood where sports held greater significance than academics, acknowledging his struggle to comprehend traditional schooling while finding solace and understanding through athletic pursuits.

Daniel Ruettiger Wiki

Birth NameDaniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger
BirthdateAugust 23, 1948
BirthplaceJoliet, Illinois, United States
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame
Net Worth$500,000
Source of WealthFootball, Sports
NationalityUnited States
CountryUnited States
Marital StatusMarried (Cheryl Ruettiger)

Height & Weight

Rudy Ruettiger possesses striking blue eyes and a head of brown hair. Standing at a height of 5 feet 6 inches (1.69 meters), he maintains a physique weighing approximately 165 pounds (75 kilograms).

Eye ColorBlue
Hair ColorBrown
Height5ft 6ins (1.69m)
Weight165 lbs (75 kg)

Education and early life

Rudy grew up in a large family, being one of 14 siblings, raised by their German-American parents. He rarely discusses his parents publicly, but in the movie “Rudy,” his father is portrayed as indifferent to his son’s aspirations, often discouraging him. Despite academic challenges stemming from dyslexia during his time at Joliet Catholic High School, Rudy remained dedicated to sports, excelling in American football, baseball, and basketball under the guidance of coach Gordie Gillespie. 

After graduating in 1966, Rudy enlisted in the US Navy, serving aboard a communications command ship as a yeoman for two years. Following his military service, he worked at a power plant for another two years. In 1970, Rudy applied to the University of Notre Dame but was initially rejected due to his poor grades. Undeterred, he enrolled at Holy Cross College before finally transferring to Notre Dame two years later, on his fourth attempt.

Rudy Ruettiger Family

Rudy Ruettiger Family

Rudy Ruettiger, whose remarkable journey inspired the movie “Rudy,” emerged from modest beginnings within a large German American family, born on August 23, 1948, in Joliet, Illinois. His early years were marked by the challenge of dyslexia, impacting his academic endeavors. Nonetheless, he engaged in football during his time at Joliet Catholic High School, under the mentorship of esteemed coach Gordie Gillespie. 

Post-graduation, Ruettiger enlisted in the United States Navy, fulfilling duties as a yeoman aboard a communications command ship for two years, followed by employment at a power plant. Despite initial setbacks, including rejection from Notre Dame due to subpar high school grades, he persisted, enrolling in Holy Cross College nearby, where he uncovered his dyslexia. After four attempts, Ruettiger finally gained acceptance to Notre Dame in 1974, realizing his aspiration to play football for the esteemed institution.

Though his college football tenure comprised a single play as a walk-on, his legendary sack of the Georgia Tech quarterback in the concluding game of his senior year immortalized his name. Throughout his journey, Rudy found unwavering support from his family, particularly his parents, Daniel and Elizabeth Ruettiger, who imparted values of resilience and perseverance to their fourteen children. 

Presently married to Cheryl Ruettiger, Rudy is a father of three, underscoring the enduring significance of familial bonds in his life. Despite achieving acclaim as a motivational speaker and author, Rudy remains grounded, emphasizing the pivotal role of hard work, determination, and familial support in overcoming challenges and realizing one’s aspirations.

Rudy Ruettiger: Professional Life

After concluding his college football career, Rudy transitioned into motivational speaking. He extended his reach to various audiences, including college and professional athletes, as well as students at schools and universities. Furthermore, Rudy is recognized as an author, having penned two books under his name. Additionally, his inspiring journey has served as a source of inspiration for numerous other works authored by different individuals. Notably, his story was immortalized in the 1993 film “Rudy,” with Sean Astin portraying the titular character.

Love life and wife

Rudy Ruettiger maintains a private stance on his romantic life, preferring not to discuss it publicly. However, it is widely known that he has been married since 1996. Rudy first encountered Cheryl, a non-celebrity American, in 1985, during his early days as a motivational speaker. Cheryl played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Rudy Foundation, a charitable organization providing scholarships to disadvantaged youth with interests in sports and theater. 

While Rudy’s passion lies in sports, Cheryl’s interests lean towards theater and the performing arts. The couple shares two children: Jessica Noel Ruettiger, who recently graduated from Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater, aspiring to pursue a career as an actress and dancer, and Daniel Joseph Ruettiger, born on August 27, 2002, who is currently pursuing hockey at college. Rudy has not publicly discussed any other relationships and remains married to Cheryl as of January 2023.

How did Rudy Ruettiger start his professional career?

How did Rudy Ruettiger start his professional career?

After concluding his collegiate football career, Rudy embarked on a path of motivational speaking. He engaged with audiences at colleges, universities, and among professional and collegiate athletes. Additionally, Rudy has authored several books, with only two novels published under his name thus far. His inspiring life story has served as a blueprint for numerous other works created by various authors. 

The 1993 film “Rudy,” starring Sean Astin, portrayed his journey, with Rob Fried serving as producer, David Anspaugh as director, and Angelo Pizzo as screenwriter. In a poignant moment, Rudy Ruettiger himself made a brief appearance in the final scene of the movie. Notably, on January 21, 2017, Rudy underwent a significant personal milestone as he was baptized and welcomed into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When did Ruettiger start playing football?

When did Ruettiger start playing football?

Standing at 5 feet 6 inches (1.69 meters) tall upon his transfer to Notre Dame, Rudy harbored a fervent ambition to join their esteemed football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Fortunately, Coach Ara Parseghian fostered an environment where students were encouraged to pursue football, facilitating Rudy’s aspirations. Despite being initially relegated to the scout team, Rudy dedicated himself to rigorous daily practice sessions, often engaging in twice-daily workouts. 

It was revealed that former football coach Merv Johnson played a pivotal role in ensuring Rudy’s retention on the scout team. In 1974, Daniel John Devine assumed the role of head coach at Notre Dame. On November 8, 1975, Rudy achieved a significant milestone when Coach Devine entrusted him with his first game appearance. During this game against Georgia Tech, Rudy showcased his prowess by recording a sack, an achievement celebrated by his teammates who carried him off the field—a gesture of recognition rarely bestowed upon players.

After college

After college

After graduating from college in 1974, Rudy established a maintenance company and ventured into real estate sales. In 1986, he relocated to South Bend, Indiana, where he decided to sell the rights to his life story, laying the groundwork for the creation of a feature film. Rudy expressed a desire to make a cameo appearance in the movie and could have been spotted as a fan in the background, portrayed by actor Ned Beatty. While the film captured the essence of his journey accurately, Rudy clarified that certain aspects, particularly the portrayal of his coach as an antagonist, were not entirely reflective of reality. 

In truth, his coach had been supportive, even advocating for Rudy’s participation in the season’s final game. Transitioning into a career as a motivational speaker and author, Rudy penned his first book, “Rudy’s Lessons for Young Champions,” in November 1997, followed by “Rudy & Friends” in March 1999, and “Rudy’s Insights for Winning in Life” in June 2000. 

However, in 2011, Rudy faced legal challenges when he was charged with securities fraud related to his role as Chairman of Rudy Beverage, Inc., resulting in a substantial financial penalty. Despite these setbacks, Rudy found solace and underwent a significant personal milestone when he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 68 in 2017.

How did Ruettiger achieve his Notre Dame football dream?

How did Ruettiger achieve his Notre Dame football dream?

Following the loss of his closest companion, Ruettiger felt compelled to pursue enrollment at Notre Dame by any means possible, as reported by Bleacher Report. His journey began with enrolling in classes at Holy Cross Junior College, aspiring to transfer to Notre Dame in the future. It was during this period at Holy Cross that Ruettiger discovered he had dyslexia, a revelation that shed light on his academic challenges. Despite facing rejection from Notre Dame in previous attempts, Ruettiger remained undeterred. He took on a groundskeeper role at the campus and persisted in his efforts. Through unwavering determination and perseverance, Ruettiger made one final attempt to gain admission to the school—and this time, he succeeded.

What led Ruettiger to become the underdog?

What led Ruettiger to become the underdog?

Ruettiger was subsequently selected to join Notre Dame football’s scout team, where he primarily observed from the sidelines throughout the season. However, his opportunity to shine arrived during the closing moments of the final game, when Notre Dame held a significant lead. 

In a memorable display of determination, Ruettiger made a decisive impact by sacking Georgia Tech quarterback Rudy Allen. This triumphant moment symbolized the culmination of an inspiring underdog narrative, as Ruettiger was carried off the field in celebration—a fitting conclusion to his remarkable journey.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Rudy has been honored with honorary doctorates from both Long Island University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College, in recognition of his unwavering spirit, dedication, and ability to inspire others. Additionally, he has received keys to the city from numerous cities across the United States, further acknowledging his contributions. Rudy’s impact has even reached the highest levels of government, as he was invited to visit the White House and had the opportunity to meet former President George W. Bush.

Maintaining an active presence on Instagram, Rudy’s account boasts a following of over 35,000 individuals. Through his social media platform, he shares a diverse range of content, with a particular focus on promoting sports and outdoor activities. In his leisure time, Rudy finds solace in nature, often enjoying outdoor excursions with his children.

In addition to his passion for the outdoors, Rudy is an avid film enthusiast. He counts actors Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger among his favorites and has a penchant for movies such as “Rain Man,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”

Where is Ruettiger now?

Ruettiger has established himself as both a motivational speaker and author, having written “Rudy’s Insights for Winning in Life” in 2000 and “Rudy: My Story” in 2012. While his remarkable journey has been documented in various forms, including the 2018 documentary “Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On,” it is the 1993 biographical film that continues to resonate deeply with audiences.

In an interview with USA Today in August 2018, Ruettiger reflected on the enduring appeal of his story, noting that it transcends political and religious divides. He emphasized the central theme of self-belief, affirming that anything is achievable with unwavering confidence in oneself.

Ruettiger’s personal life includes two children, a son named Daniel and a daughter named Joyce, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Cheryl Ruettiger.

Social Media

Rudy’s Instagram account boasts a substantial following of over 31.9k followers. Similarly, his Twitter account has amassed over 1.2k followers, while his Facebook page has garnered 208 followers.

Fun Facts

  • Rudy Ruettiger was born on August 23, 1948, in Joliet, Illinois, USA.
  • He holds the distinction of being the first player ever carried off the Notre Dame Football field.
  • Ruettiger has authored or co-authored three different books.
  • Joe Montana, the legendary football player, was Rudy’s teammate during their time at Notre Dame.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When was Rudy Ruettiger born?

Rudy Ruettiger was born on August 23, 1948, in Joliet, Illinois, United States.

Q: What is Rudy Ruettiger known for?

Rudy Ruettiger is renowned as an American author, motivational speaker, and former college football player, celebrated for his inspirational journey depicted in the 1993 biographical sports movie “Rudy.”.

Q: What is Rudy Ruettiger’s net worth?

As of 2023, Rudy Ruettiger’s net worth stands at approximately $550,000.

Q: What inspired Rudy Ruettiger to pursue his dream of playing football at Notre Dame?

Following the loss of his best friend, Rudy Ruettiger found inspiration to fulfill his aspiration of playing football at Notre Dame, despite encountering numerous obstacles along the way.

Q: What are Rudy Ruettiger’s favorite films?

Rudy Ruettiger holds actors Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger in high regard, and among his preferred films are “Rain Man,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”


Rudy Ruettiger’s life epitomizes resilience and tenacity. Despite encountering academic challenges and being discouraged due to his perceived physical limitations in football, he persevered with unwavering determination. His journey, from being hoisted off the Notre Dame football field to evolving into a renowned motivational speaker and author, resonates with countless individuals globally. Maintaining an engaging presence on social media platforms, Rudy is passionate about outdoor pursuits and cinema. His narrative underscores the transformative influence of self-belief and the capacity to surmount obstacles.

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