The True Story of Michael Oher and ‘The Blind Side’


Michael Oher may be the only Super Bowl champion to be more famous for being a character in a movie than, well, being a Super Bowl champion football player.

After all, it’s hard to outshine Sandra Bullock.

Before Oher spent eight years in the NFL, he was one of the subjects of acclaimed author Michael Lewis’ 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and then the sole focus of its big-screen adaptation, The Blind Side. The movie, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, traced Oher’s journey from homeless teenager to Division I All-American left tackle for Ole Miss. A smash hit that made over $300 million at the box office, the film won Bullock an Oscar but took some liberties with the particulars of Oher’s life story. In some ways, the real story is even more amazing than what was shown in the movie.

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Oher’s birth parents were troubled addicts

Oher was born in 1986, right smack in the middle of the crack cocaine epidemic that swept the United States’ inner cities. He was one of 12 children born to a mother who had fallen victim to the cheap and ultra-addictive narcotic, which set him along a troubled path from the start. His father disappeared early on, while his mother, Denise, struggled with addiction for many years.





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