Real Life Stories

You’ve got to read it to believe it! These true stories seem almost too good to be true, but we promise that we couldn’t make these up. From love to loss and from survival to unbelieavable coincidences—we’ve got the wildest stories to keep you informed, entertained, and inspired.

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12 Famous Sibling Rivalries Throughout History

Just because you're related to your brother or sister doesn't mean you have to like them. Here are the best sibling spats of all time.

Why Alex Trebek Has a Bounced Check Framed on His Wall

And you won't believe how much the check was written out for!


Toni Morrison, “Beloved” Author, on Confronting Evil: I Will Not Run Away

The Nobel Prize winner shared this personal story about finding courage and confronting evil.


The Day Robert Downey Jr. Saved My Grandma

At the height of an emergency, the actor turned into a real-life superhero.


One of the World’s Most Famous Cities Has a Small-Town Secret

Not far from a popular movie-making city lies a small town you'll wish you've heard of sooner.

The 8-Word Phrase That Made Robin Roberts Who She Is

One of America’s most beloved journalists reveals how her upbringing influenced her life, and how future generations can learn from...


Littleton, NH

Home to author Eleanor Porter, this town is full of cheery residents who embody the spirit of Pollyanna. Littleton residents...

The Simple but Powerful Way This Social Worker Comforted a Grieving Widower

As he helps a shattered man face his wife’s death, 
the author is inspired by an old message.


A Stitch N Time in Asheville, NC

The work ethic and customer service at A Stitch N Time tailors is exemplary and unmatched, and they've got a...


Provincetown, MA

A popular spot for famous wordsmiths to write some of their most well-known works, the goodness of Provincetown is anything...


Jamestown, TN

Jamestown, Tennessee, a rural mountain town, is the county seat for Fentress County and the perfect place to raise a...

How to Find More Meaning In Your Life, According to 5 People Who Did

Living a meaningful life can be different for everyone, but in these five incredible people found that what really matters...


Finally! Here’s What the Saying ‘Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus’ Means

One news editor reminds us to never stop believing in miracles.


A Leisurely Hike Turned Into a 5-Day Nightmare After We Took a Wrong Turn

The author was looking forward to a day of hiking with her husband in a beautiful Texas state park. Four...


These High Schoolers Wrote Letters to Kurt Vonnegut. This Is What They Got in Response.

Your homework assignment from a famous novelist: Make art. Then destroy it.



“Pull Yourself Together!”: Rob Lowe on the Unexpected Tears of Sending His Son to College

The Emmy award-winning actor had no idea how hard it would be to send his favorite Patriots fan off to...


Roxane Gay Makes a Case for Why We Should All Quit Whining

The professor and author was the queen of complaints—until she realized what she was missing.


How a Password Changed My Life

With the simple repetition of unlocking his computer, the author was able to make incredible things happen.


The Inspiring Story of How Frank McCourt Won a Pulitzer

From his students, the teacher learned his lessons slowly but well.


Ann Patchett Tells Everything She Knows About Love

After learning that her boyfriend of 11 years has a potentially fatal heart condition, the author wonders—is it possible that...


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Dr. Phil Shares “The Holiday I’ll Never Forget.”

A secret father-son pact still delights TV show host and author Phil McGraw decades later.


This Famous Painting Stinks, Say Some

Some wouldn't ford a river for this painting.

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Famous Photographers Speak on Their Famous Photos

In "Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends," Tim Mantoani shot over 150 famous photographers holding their most famous images, and asked...


A Grandmother’s Tale: When Anne Lamott’s Teen Son Became a Dad

What would you do if your teenager had a child? For author Lamott, it was a crash course in the...


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An Interview With Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee

The following interview with Leymah Gbowee appeared in the October 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest. On October 7, Gbowee was


George Haley: The Man Who Wouldn’t Quit

A look back: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley tells the story of a man who overcame prejudice to excel as...