The Lookout

Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey to become a paid speaker

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Charles Ramsey (The Plain Dealer, Scott Shaw, File/AP)

The Cleveland man who become an overnight celebrity after he freed three young women believed to have been held captive for a decade will now get a chance to cash in on his fame.

Ramsey has signed with Bruce Merrin's Celebrity Speakers and Entertainment Bureau, it was announced on Thursday. According to NBC News, Ramsey will be available for "speeches, question-and-answers and personal appearances."

Ramsey, whose quick action on May 6 rescued Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, became a Web hit.

His news interviews resulted in a Web meme, and the neighborhood McDonald's, where Ramsey happened to be eating at the time he sprang into action, has offered him free food for a year.

“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.

Merrin told the Cleveland Plain Dealer the speaking fee for Ramsey would be around $10,000 a pop.

Ramsey became a Web sensation for his description of the rescue, both humble and unintentionally hilarious. The Web quickly filled up with autotuned versions of him saying lines like, “I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music.”

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