Mitchell David Albom (born May 23, 1958 in Trenton, New Jersey, USA) is an award-winning sportswriter novelist, newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, syndicated radio host, and TV commentator.
Albom has published 7 books that have sold more than 35 million copies.
He is a graduate of Brandeis University and Columbia University. Before becoming a journalist, Albom was briefly an amateur boxer, nightclub singer, and pianist. Album began writing as a journalist, becoming one of the most award-winning sports writers of his time while at the Detroit Press. His articles during his time at Detroit Press were anthologized in The Live Albom in 1988, which went on to 3 additional volumes, II, III, and IV.
Albom's first non-anthology book was Bo: Life, Laughs, and the Lessons of a College Football Legend (Warner Books), an autobiography of football coach Bo Schembechler co-written with the coach. The book was published in August 1989 and became Albom's first New York Times bestseller.
Albom's next book was Fab Five: Basketball, Trash Talk, The American Dream, a look into the starters on the University of Michigan men's basketball team that reached the NCAA championship game as freshmen in 1992 and again as sophomores in 1993. The book was published in November 1993 and also became a New York Times bestseller.
In 1995 Albom saw a Nightline interview by Ted Koppel of Morrie Schwartz, one of Albom’s professors at Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts. After the interview Albom began visiting Schwartz on Tuesdays to discuss life and death. As a way to pay Schwartz's medical bills Albom pitched the discussions as a book, getting rejected by multiple publishing houses before being signed by Doubleday, although the first printing was only 20,000 copies. An appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997 put Tuesday’s with Morrie onto the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for over 205 weeks, becoming one of the bestselling memoirs of all time at over 14 million copies sold. It spent 5 years as hardcover before being released in paperback in October 2002. Oprah produced a television movie based on the book, which was the most watched TV movie of 1999 and won 4 Emmy’s.
After his experiences with Morrie Schwartz, he started a volunteer group in 1998 called "A Time to Help". Every month, the group (affiliated with Volunteer Impact) does a project to help serve and improve the Detroit community. Projects have included work at homeless shelters, food banks, senior citizens homes, and orphanages. Mitch and his radio co-host Ken Brown lead each project and try to use the group as a catalyst to increase volunteerism.
After the success of Tuesday’s with Morrie Albom turned to fiction, writing The Five People You Meet In Heaven, published in September 2003, which sold over 10 million copies and became a TV movie as well. Albom’s second novel, For One More Day was published in 2006, and was the first book to be sold by the coffee chain Starbuck’s.
Mitch Albom is also part of a rock band, The Rock Bottom Remainders, whose members are all published writers.