Leigh Anne Tuohy
“There was a new force in Michael Oher’s life: a woman paying extremely close attention to him who had an eye for detail, a nose for trouble, the heart of a lion, and the will of a storm trooper.”
--- From THE BLIND SIDE by Michael Lewis
Dubbed a “warrior princess” by author Michael Lewis in his best-selling book THE BLIND SIDE, Leigh Anne is the inspirational matriarch of the Tuohy family.
A Memphis, Tennessee native, Leigh Anne was raised by her devout Christian mother and tough-as-nails U.S. Marshall father, a JFK appointee who served the administration in its efforts to racially integrate schools in the Deep South. She attended Briarcrest Christian School and went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss,” with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. There Leigh Anne met Sean Tuohy, her husband of 27 years. Both were active and ambitious college students. Leigh Anne was a cheerleader, campus favorite, homecoming maid, and active member of her sorority; Sean became a record-breaking SEC basketball champion and still holds several SEC assist records. Carrying on the values passed down by her parents, Leigh Anne decided early on that her mission was to raise children who would become “cheerful givers.” The Tuohys are the proud parents of daughter Collins (23) and sons Michael Oher (23) and Sean Jr. (16).
Leigh Anne owns “Flair I,” an interior design firm, with her mother and partner, Virginia Roberts. Her work has been featured on HGTV and in numerous publications, and she has designed for such clients as NFL stars Peyton Manning and Isaac Bruce, and NBA stars Scottie Pippin and O.J. Mayo.
The Tuohy family is actively involved in many civic and faith-based organizations, including Grace Evangelical Church of which they are founding members. The Tuohy family’s life was chronicled in Lewis’ New York Times No. 1 bestseller THE BLIND SIDE which went on to become a record-breaking Hollywood blockbuster that earned more than $200 million at the box office and the first sports film in history to have a No. 1 opening weekend.
Leigh Anne and husband Sean share their firsthand account of the process that brought Michael into their family in their new book, IN A HEARTBEAT: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving. Leigh Anne is also a highly-requested speaker. At the podium, she inspires audiences to recognize the full potential of individuals in their communities --- and to find value in those who society has deemed valueless. She also shares her personal “Blind Side” observations, from seeing Michael Oher for the first time to how the experience changed her as a person --- and the Tuohys as a family. “He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life,” says Leigh Anne.
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