The Blind Side

Leigh Anne Tuohy Character Analysis

Leigh Anne Tuohy is the matriarch of the Tuohy family, the wife of Sean Tuohy, a devout Christian, and the person most responsible for helping Michael Oher achieve success. It is Leigh Anne who, shortly after Michael enrolls at Briarcrest, notices that Michael needs food, clothing, and shelter, buys him what he needs, and eventually allows him to sleep in the Tuohy home. Leigh Anne says on more than one occasion that she feels compelled to help Michael, though she can never explain exactly why. She and Michael form a tight bond: she seems to understand the quiet, lonely Michael in ways that his teammates, coaches, and even his family cannot. Later on in the book, Leigh Anne is instrumental in convincing Michael’s coaches to allow him to play more often, and in encouraging Michael to be social and enjoy his new life. Leigh Anne is also an important “voice of reason” during Michael’s transition from high school to college—while his coaches prioritize making Michael play football and improve his game, Leigh Anne tries to make Michael feel comfortable and secure with his new life at the University of Mississippi. While Michael Lewis doesn’t probe too deeply into why Leigh Anne chooses to help Michael Oher so generously, he makes it clear that she’s an extraordinarily pious, single-minded woman, who sees it as her duty to help people in need.

Leigh Anne Tuohy Quotes in The Blind Side

The The Blind Side quotes below are all either spoken by Leigh Anne Tuohy or refer to Leigh Anne Tuohy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Generosity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Norton & Company edition of The Blind Side published in 2007.
Chapter 3 Quotes

By the time Michael Oher arrived at Briarcrest, Leigh Anne Tuohy didn’t see anything odd or even awkward in taking him in hand. This boy was new; he had no clothes; he had no warm place to stay over Thanksgiving Break. For Lord’s sake, he was walking to school in the snow in shorts, when school was out of session, on the off-chance he could get into the gym and keep warm. Of course she took him out and bought him some clothes. It struck others as perhaps a bit aggressively philanthropic; for Leigh Anne, clothing a child was just what you did if you had the resources. She had done this sort of thing before, and would do it again. “God gives people money to see how you’re going to handle it,” she said. And she intended to prove she knew how to handle it.

Related Characters: Leigh Anne Tuohy (speaker), Michael Oher
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

She’d been taking care of his material needs for a good year and a half, and his emotional ones, to the extent he wanted them taken care of, for almost as long. “I love him as if I birthed him,” she said. About the hundredth time someone asked her how she handled his sexual urges, Leigh Anne snapped. “You just need to mind your own business. You worry about your life and I’ll worry about mine,” she’d said. Word must have gotten around because after that no one asked.

Related Characters: Leigh Anne Tuohy (speaker), Michael Oher
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

Leigh Anne Tuohy was trying to do for one boy what economists had been trying to do, with little success, for less developed countries for the last fifty years. Kick him out of one growth path and onto another. Jump-start him. She had already satisfied his most basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and health care. He had pouted for three days after she had taken him to get the vaccines he should have had as a child. It was amazing he hadn’t already died some nineteenth-century death from, say, the mumps. (When she tried to get him a flu shot the second year in a row, he said, “You white people are obsessed with that flu shot. You don’t need one every year.”) Now she was moving on to what she interpreted as his cultural deficiencies.

Related Characters: Michael Oher (speaker), Leigh Anne Tuohy
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

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Leigh Anne listened to the doctors discuss how bizarrely lucky Sean Junior had been in his collision with the airbag. Then she went back home and relayed the conversation to Michael, who held out his arm. An ugly burn mark ran right down the fearsome length of it. “I stopped it,” he said.

Related Characters: Michael Oher (speaker), Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sean Tuohy Junior
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

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Then he looked around, as if soaking in every last detail of the Olde English and Country French furnishings, and said, “What a lovely home. I just love those window treatments.” I just love those window treatments. He didn't say, “I just love the way you put together the Windsor valances with the draw drapes,” but he might as well have. Right then Leigh Anne decided that if Nick Saban wasn't the most polished and charming football coach in America, she was ready to marry whoever was.

Related Characters: Nick Saban (speaker), Leigh Anne Tuohy
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Then and there Leigh Anne made a decision: she wasn't finished. “I want a building,” she said. “We're going to open a foundation that’s only going to help out kids with athletic ability who don't have the academics to go to college. Screw the NCAA. I don't care what people say. I don't care if they say we're only interested in them because they're good at sports. Sports is all we know about. And there are hundreds of kids in Memphis alone with this story.”

Related Characters: Leigh Anne Tuohy (speaker)
Page Number: 323-324
Explanation and Analysis:

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Leigh Anne Tuohy Character Timeline in The Blind Side

The timeline below shows where the character Leigh Anne Tuohy appears in The Blind Side. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Crossing the Line
Generosity Theme Icon
Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...arranges for Michael to get free lunch. A few months later, Sean and his wife, Leigh Anne , are driving by when they notice Michael sitting outside in the snow, wearing shorts.... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
The next day, Leigh Anne picks up Michael from school and takes him to buy a jacket. She’s a remarkable... (full context)
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In the store, Leigh Anne quickly realizes that almost nothing fits Michael—he’s too big and tall. As Leigh Anne tries... (full context)
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The next day, Leigh Anne devises a way to clothe Michael—get hand-me-downs from NFL athletes—only to learn that nobody in... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Blank Slate
Left Tackle, Protection, and Shifting Strategy Theme Icon
...however, he refuses to open his hand. While the men try to reason with Michael, Leigh Anne , who’s watching the game, is able to convince him to open it. In the... (full context)
Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...Oher is adjusting to his new life, thanks largely to the help of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy . The Tuohys, especially Leigh Anne, gave Michael emotional support; moreover, they pay for his... (full context)
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...next few months, Michael stays with various teammates’ families. One night, after a track meet, Leigh Anne drives Michael, at Michael’s request, to a trailer in Mississippi, where Michael says he sometimes... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...with Sean Junior, the Tuohys’ young son—they play video games for hours at a time. Leigh Anne gives Michael some of the “rules” of living with her: he has to visit his... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...is to store as much food as possible. He’s also a neat freak, which pleases Leigh Anne greatly. Sean notes, “It was like God made a child just for us: sports for... (full context)
Chapter 6: Inventing Michael
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
While college football coaches fall over themselves to court Michael, Leigh Anne and Sean have doubts about Michael’s football future. Michael is dependent on Leigh Anne and... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
At school, Collins Tuohy, Leigh Anne and Sean’s daughter, notices that Michael is becoming more outgoing—he no longer looks at the... (full context)
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To obtain proof of address, Michael calls his mother in advance, and Leigh Anne drives him to the house where she leaves. Michael’s mother, whose name is Denise, is... (full context)
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While Leigh Anne waits for Michael to take his test, she thinks about the flak she’s gotten from... (full context)
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Leigh Anne also thinks about Michael’s bad grades: he has a GPA of 1.56, but needs a... (full context)
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...September 2004, Briarcrest plays against Melrose, another local high school, and loses. After the game, Leigh Anne encourages Hugh Freeze to play Michael more often, and run the ball left instead of... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Pasta Coach
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At the end of 2004, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy become Michael Oher’s legal guardians. They send out a Christmas card including... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...the end of high school, he faces great offers from college coaches. Privately, Sean and Leigh Anne want Michael to play for their alma mater, the University of Mississippi—“their lives were as... (full context)
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Leigh Anne is nervous that, if accepted to an elite football college, Michael won’t be able to... (full context)
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One day, Leigh Anne gets a call from Collins—there’s been an accident. Leigh Anne learns that Michael, while driving... (full context)
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...Fulmer shows up at the Tuohy house, he tries to ingratiate himself with Collins and Leigh Anne , but he doesn’t have Nick Saban’s polish. Nevertheless, Fulmer has a big advantage: the... (full context)
Chapter 8: Character Courses
Left Tackle, Protection, and Shifting Strategy Theme Icon
Football Industry and Culture Theme Icon
...spends his final semester of high school trying to raise his GPA to a 2.65. Leigh Anne calls some of Michael’s old teachers, asking them what Michael needs to do to get... (full context)
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Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...to find a baby picture—which, traditionally, is included in the Briarcrest yearbook. With much difficulty, Leigh Anne succeeds in finding a picture of Michael as a ten-year-old. Afterwards, she goes on the... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Egg Bowl
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Football Industry and Culture Theme Icon
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...at the school drinks heavily. However, Sue Mitchell is still his tutor, and Sean and Leigh Anne have built a second house for themselves, less than a mile from campus. Michael has... (full context)
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...a freshman linebacker named Antonio Turner. Antonio boasts that he’d like to have sex with Leigh Anne and Collins. Michael threatens to hit Antonio; Antonio flees to another building, and Michael follows... (full context)
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Leigh Anne tells Sean what’s happened. Sean is reminded of an incident that happened shortly after Michael... (full context)
Chapter 11: Freak of Nurture
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...Thompson suggests that Sean “doesn’t care” about Michael’s past, but Sean insists that he and Leigh Anne are in “no hurry” to learn about Michael: “We got a long time.” (full context)
Chapter 12: And Moses Stuttered
Generosity Theme Icon
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Football Industry and Culture Theme Icon
Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
...Miss, and “all hell broke loose.” Antonio Turner, the teammate Michael beat up for insulting Leigh Anne and Collins, is taken to a coach’s house, while the injured little boy is rushed... (full context)
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...ordeal Michael has remained loyal to his adopted family. He doesn’t believe that Sean and Leigh Anne were manipulating him. He looks at his phone and sees that Sean has been texting... (full context)
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Leigh Anne continues to spend lots of time with Michael Oher. It often occurs to her that... (full context)