Scott Shaw / The Plain Dealer / Landov
Charles Ramsey talks to media as people congratulate him on helping some women get out of a home in the 2200 block of Seymour Ave on May 6, 2013. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and others were rescued from the house.
The celebrated Cleveland hero who is enjoying complimentary McDonald's for a year may soon have some cash to splurge on the fast food giant when his free ride runs out.
Charles Ramsey, the man celebrated for his May 6 rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight after a decade in captivity, has signed a deal to become a celebrity speaker.
Bruce Merrin’s Celebrity Speakers & Entertainment Bureau announced in a press release Thursday that Ramsey will be hitting the speakers' circuit for speeches, question-and-answers and personal appearances.
“Charles story touched my heart. When he heard Amanda Berry screaming and crying out for help, he immediately jumped into action. He forcibly kicked the front door open, and assisted Amanda and her baby to freedom. They both called 911. Charles Ramsey is a true hero to me. I admire and respect him,” Merrin said in a statement.
In an interview with The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Merrin estimated that Ramsey could make around $10,000 per speaking engagement.
Ramsey quickly became a media sensation as soon as he got in front of cameras to tell the story of how he responded to Amanda Berry's pleas for help.
Berry, along with DeJesus and Knight, had been kidnapped and held against their will for ten years in a home nearby Ramsey. His candor in retelling their escape and the pivotal role he played in the rescue made him one of the leading faces of the story that captured national attention.
Despite his celebrity status, Ramsey has yet to cash in on the various spin off clothing, action figures, food and Internet videos that have used his name or likeness.
His frequent mention of the fact he was eating McDonald's before the rescue did, however, prompt the fast food giant to offer him free food from franchises near his Cleveland home for one year.
Merrin said he was particularly touched by Ramsey's insistence that the reward money being offered for tips leading to the successful discovery of the women go to the victims.
“I believe that Charles has a story that will impact audiences lives! His spirit moves me,” Merrin said in the statement.
Merrin's firm has booked every former president since Ronald Reagan, as well as motivational speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Michael Beckwith and Bob Proctor, according to the release.