Mitch Albom was born on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1979 with a degree in sociology and earned his Master's degrees in journalism and business administration from Columbia University in New York City. Albom is a best-selling author, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, nationally syndicated radio host for ABC and flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit, and television commentator. He is the author of several bestselling books, including Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Timekeeper. Oprah Winfrey produced a major television movie for ABC based on Tuesdays with Morrie that aired in 1999 and won four Emmy Awards in 2000. The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day were also turned into popular ABC television movies. Albom has been named the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the sports editors of America. During his storied career, he has received more than 100 writing awards from AP, UPI, Headliners Club, and National Sportswriters and Broadcasters Associations, as well as had his work appear in numerous publications, such as Sports Illustrated, GQ, Sport, The New York Times, TV Guide, and USA Today. He made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013 with his title The First Phone Call from Heaven. Albom hosts two radio talk shows for ABC. He broadcasts from WJR-AM in Detroit The Mitch Albom Show and The Mitch Albom Show on the Weekend. The Monday Sports Albom, a sports interview program, has hosted guests from President Gerald Ford to Wayne Gretzky to Dennis Rodman. Albom is a panelist on ESPN's Sports Reporters and a regular contributing commentator to that network. Albom has also twice served as a network Olympic commentator, for ABC's Good Morning, America during the Atlanta Games and for the CBS Early Show from the Games in Sydney, Australia. Albom is an accomplished songwriter, lyricist, screenwriter, and playwright. He has founded two charities in the metropolitan Detroit area. The Dream Fund, which Albom founded in 1989, allows disadvantaged children to become involved with the arts and A Time to Help, founded in 1998, brings volunteers together once a month to tackle various projects in Detroit, including staffing shelters, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and operating meals on wheels programs for the elderly. Albom serves on the boards of various charities, including CATCH (Caring Athletes Team for Children's and Henry Ford Hospitals), Forgotten Harvest, and Michigan Hospice Organization. In 1999 he was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year.