|One night in 1995, Detroit sportswriter Mitch Albom watched a television show which would change his life, and ultimately the world, in ways he never could have imagined. But to get to that point, Albom had traveled a meandering road filled with some unexpected detours. Born (in 1958) and raised in New Jersey, near Philadelphia, Albom attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he studied sociology, though his real interest was music. Albom dreamed of a career as a singer/songwriter, and he supported himself for several years by playing piano and performing in clubs in the Northeast, and later in Europe, where he once sang Elvis cover songs on the island of Crete. Back in the U.S., Albom moonlighted as an amateur boxer until he became a volunteer reporter for a local newspaper in Queens, New York, which ultimately earned him a spot in the School of Journalism at Columbia University. Reversing the common script, Albom supported his practical education with earnings from his music, as he earned a Masters and an M.B.A. from Columbia, and began to work as a freelance sports reporter. Albom worked his way up the journalism ladder in various cities until he found a home in Detroit, writing a nationally-syndicated sports column and hosting a popular radio program. Albom garnered hundreds of awards for his incisive sports writing, including winning the Associated Press's coveted award for best column an unprecedented 13 times. In 1995, the newlywed Albom happened to tune in to Ted Koppel's Nightline program, which featured an interview with Albom's former Brandeis professor Morrie Schwartz, who was dying of A.L.S., also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The mournful Albom sought out his former mentor, and the two began meeting regularly for conversations which taught Albom many valuable lessons about life's priorities. In an effort to pay for Schwartz's mounting medical bills, Albom promised to write a book about the experience, which became TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, the bestselling memoir of all time (as of 2009). In 2003, Albom released his follow-up, a novel called THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN, which broke more sales records and cemented his place as one of the most beloved writers of his time. The indefatigable Albom continues to produce bestsellers, while hosting his radio program, writing his award-winning sports column, and running multiple charities he has established.