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“Ray Schoenke has lived a fascinating life—from his upbringing in Hawaii, to his groundbreaking career as one of the first Polynesian players in the NFL, to his successful business career.  Along the way, he has never failed to stand up or speak out for what he believes.  I’ll always be grateful for his support, and I’m glad he’s finally telling his story.”

– President Bill Clinton 


“Fat Girl Sings provides an evocative glimpse into the Hawaiian experience, touching on sports, culture, race, and a man’s effort to discover, embrace, and accept all of himself.” 

—Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

"Ray Schoenke’s story is an inspiration. His life and example provides us an important reachable lesson about honor and principle. I’ve written about hundreds of athletes but never one who carried himself with more dignity than Ray."

—Gare Joyce has written for publications including the New York Times, the Athletic and ESPN for more than 30 years


"What we did on the field was clearly a wonderful expression of two men plying their trade in different spheres, but our intellectual and mental approach to the game was what allowed us to truly appreciate each other."

—Willie Lanier, Kansas City Chiefs. Super Bowl champion, NFL Man of the year (1972), Pro Football Hall of Fame (1986). 

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Ray Schoenke

Fat Girl Sings

Discovering, Embracing, and Leveraging Racial Identity on the Football Field, in Business, and in Life

Available Now
My Book

Featuring compelling characters and integrating classic themes such as racial injustice and coming of age, Fat Girl Sings is the profoundly moving true story of a chubby brown boy’s traumatic loss of innocence and his mental and physical transformation into the warrior he has to become to achieve success in school, in the NFL, in business, and in life as he struggles to gain an understanding of himself, his environment, and his Hawaiian heritage. 

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About Ray

Ray Schoenke was among the earliest Polynesian NFL players and was inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He had a 12-year career as an offensive lineman with the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. In 2002, he was selected as one of the top 100 players in the history of the Redskins and developed a multi-million-dollar business while he was still playing football. 

During his business career, he was very active in public and civic affairs including playing a significant role in the founding of the Special Olympics and serving as the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Region. He actively campaigned for three U.S. Presidents. He was appointed as Chair of the Hawaiian Arts and Culture Board for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, HI, and also ran for public office. He released his memoir, Fat Girl Sings, in May of 2023.

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