1958 : Mitch Albom Born, Newspaper Columnist, Radio Show Host, TV Commentator and Bestselling Author

May 23, 2022 all-day

Born Mitchell David Albom on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey, this nationally-known newspaper columnist, radio show host, TV commentator and bestselling author has become a Detroit institution. Albom earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1979 from Brandeis University, a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and an MBA from Columbia’s School of Business, paying his tuition partly through working as a piano player.

Following a stint in New York, where he was a freelance sports journalist, and in Florida, where he wrote feature stories and sports columns for The Fort Lauderdale News and the Sun Sentinel, Albom moved to Detroit in 1985. Working for the Detroit Free Press, he became a nationally-acclaimed journalist and one of the city’s most beloved media figures. Albom has won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors columnist category 13 times, and honors in that organizations’ feature story writing contest seven times.

Albom’s first book was sports-related when in 1989 he published, Bo: Life, Laughs, and the Lessons of a College Football Legend. It was a New York Times Best Seller. He went on to write several more sports books, many ranking on the New York Times Best Seller list.

National acclaim came when Albom wrote a memoir of a former teacher, Morrie Schwartz, who was coping with Lou Gehrig’s disease. That book, Tuesdays with Morrie, published in 1997, spent four years on the New York Times Best Seller list and gave Albom worldwide recognition. The book was adapted as an ABC television movie in 1999.

Subsequent books, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day enjoyed great success. Have a Little Faith, published in 2009 was named the best nonfiction book of that year by Oprah Winfrey. The Time Keeper and The First Phone Call from Heaven were number one on the New York Times Best Seller list when they first appeared. The Magic Strings of Frankie Preston, published in 2015, had a soundtrack of 17 songs written by Albom and performed by him with others. A sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven, called The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, released in 2018.

As well as being an accomplished song writer and lyricist, Albom is a radio host, and has written successfully for stage and screen. He continued as a musician, throughout the years, as part of a rock and roll cover band, with other authors, called the Rock Bottom Remainders. Mitch Albom has founded 12 charities, most in the metropolitan Detroit area, and serves on the boards of numerous local charities. He married Janine Sabino in 1995.

Source : Encyclopedia of Detroit entry.