Ted Williams / The Golden Voice

Ted Williams / The Golden Voice

Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 01:22PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jan 05, 2011 at 10:52PM EST by Hiroman.

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Ted Williams (a.k.a The Golden Voice) is a Brooklyn-born drifter from Columbus, Ohio who became a YouTube sensation after getting filmed on the street by Columbus Dispatch reporter Kevin Joy.


On January 3rd, 2011, Kevin Joy uploaded a video to YouTube showing footage of Ted Williams panhandling and responding to Joy’s ostensible request for proof of his “gift of voice” by reciting various radio promotional segments. The video was re-uploaded by the YouTube account “RussiaToday”, which has accumulated over 17 million views as of December 12th, 2011.

His sign reads:

I have a God given gift of voice. I am an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully [sic] appreciated. Thank you and God bless you / Happy Holidays


The video was posted to Reddit[1] on January 4th, 2011 and received 20,509 up votes prior to being archived and was subsequently posted to the viral content site BuzzFeed[13] the same day. On January 5th, USA Today[2] reported that Williams had been offered a sports announcer position for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The same day, he was interviewed on the CBS Early Show[5] and appeared on NBC’s Today Show the following day.

A video was uploaded to YouTube on January 6th showing Williams reunited with his mother after the two had not seen each other for twenty years.

On January 11, 2010 Something Awful posted their Ted Williams Photoshop contest.[7]


On January 5, 2011, The Smoking Gun[6] published an article revealing that Williams was a convicted felon and had been arrested many times for a variety of alleged criminal acts.

Williams, 53, has been busted for theft, robbery, escape, forgery, and drug possession. He is pictured at right in mug shots (click to enlarge) taken as a result of those Ohio collars, which stretch back more than two decades.

On May 7th, 2011, the Ohios News Herald[10] reported that the Cavaliers job offer was no longer on the table for Williams:

The man with the golden voice, Ted Williams, is no longer associated with the Cavs. The homeless man was offered a position with the team, but it never came to fruition. He’s reportedly back in drug and alcohol rehab.[8] The story was posted to Reddit on May 9th, 2011[9] after being published on NBC Sports.

On November 17th, 2011, The Orange Country Register[12] reported that Williams was doing voiceover work in Dublin, Ohio for NECN Cable News and that Williams claimed to have been sober since May 4th, 2011.

Appearance at Occupy Protest

On November 12th, 2011, Williams apepared in a YouTube video at the Occupy Wall Street camp in New York City. The video was subsequently posted to the blog SoJones.[11]

Search Interest

Search queries for "ted williams and “the golden voice” spiked in January of 2011, the same month the video broke on YouTube.

External References

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Top Comments

Trick Lobo
Trick Lobo

You have to understand that most people who are homeless are homeless because of a serious mental problem, not because they “chose” to be alcoholic or to be a druggie. In several cases of homelessness, those who do abuse substances do so because of their illness. There is no reason to believe that Ted Williams doesn’t have a mental problem nor is there any reason to believe that he does. However, I do wish that you would understand the problems that these people face. When several insane asylums were shut down in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s due to suspicion of human torture and brutal scientific experiments, several people with serious problems had nowhere to go.


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