Montel Williams has proven to be a winner in the competitive daytime talk show arena since his debut in 1991, garnering several daytime Emmy nominations and winning the award as "Outstanding Talk Show Host" in 1996. He is also a decorated former naval intelligence officer and a renowned motivational speaker, author, actor and philanthropist.
But 1999, Williams faced his biggest challenge when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Committed to raising awareness, raising funds for research and providing inspiration to those who have MS, he created The Montel Williams MS Foundation.
In 2000, he created Mountain Movers Press, to publish the thoughts and views of today's forward thinkers. Williams' author royalties from the company's first release, Life Lessons and Reflections, an inspirational quote book, went toward finding a cure for MS. He is also the author of the New York Times best seller, Mountain, Get Out Of My Way, an autobiographical and motivational book. He co-authored the books Practical Parenting and Body Change, a New York Times best selling fitness book. He is also donating a portion of proceeds from his latest book, Climbing Higher, a chronicle of his struggle to live a vital and productive life while facing the challenges of MS.
In June 2000, Williams and The Montel Williams Show were recognized with the "Beacon Award" from the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA) for his leadership role in promoting the advancement of psychology as a socially responsible profession. NYSPA granted him the award for his "commitment to bringing psychological information to a large audience of real people."
In 1999, Williams was presented with a PRISM Award, receiving the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award from the Entertainment Industries Council for serving as a role model for the entertainment industry. His concern and dedication to the The Montel Williams Show and its guests are evidenced by his creation of the show's After-Care Program started in 1992. The program has arranged for many guests to attend psychological counseling sessions, weight-loss programs, drug rehabilitation centers, motivational camps and treatment for eating disorders.
In 2003 Williams was presented with the AFTRA Disability Awareness Award, News & Broadcasting. Montel enjoys acting and has appeared on several television programs, including JAG, All My Children, American Dreams, and Touched by an Angel. He recently had a small role in Noon Blue Apples, a low-budget independent film that was in the Sundance Film Festival and he made his directorial debut with Little Pieces, a full-length independent film for which he is currently seeking distribution. He has appeared off-Broadway in The Exonerated, a play about men and women who have been exonerated from death row. He remains committed to his roots as a motivational speaker and continues to reach out to groups across the country with messages of hope and inspiration on how to move life's mountains. He also advocates for animal rights, speaks out for teen empowerment, has supported veterans' causes and anti-drug initiatives. Williams is very passionate about the many causes he embraces. He tries to live by one of his favorite quotes from Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."