Best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant was born in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York in 1978 and earned a law degree from the City University of New York law school at Queens College in 1988. She was a criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia for three years. Vanzant is one of the top motivational speakers in the country, her public appearances and books intended to inspire and help women, especially African Americans. Her title Piece From Broken Pieces made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2011.