Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Background Information on Mitch Albom


Mitch Albom was born on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey.

He studied sociology at Brandeis University. After graduating, he toured Europe and the United States, singing and playing jazz piano in various nightclubs.

He later went back to school and got a master's degree in both journalism and business from Columbia University. While getting his master's degree Albom wrote for the SPORTmagazine and the Queens Tribune.

Albom then became a free-lance writer for Sports Illustrated and The Philadelphia Inquirer before he accepted a full-time job as the lead sports columnist for the Detriot Free Press. During his sports writing career he received the Best Sports Columnist award 13 times and seven awards for Best Feature Writer.

The main character of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie,  is based on Albom's uncle, Eddie Beitchman, a World War II veteran and cab driver who passed away at 83 years old.

                                                      Uncle Eddie and Mitch Albom

The plot of the novel was inspired by a story Eddie told at one Thanksgiving Dinner: When Eddie was younger, he was sent to the hospital with a life-threatening fever. On the verge of death, he woke up one night to find his dead relatives around his bed, staring at him. Eddie told them to "get lost," and that he wasn't "ready for them yet." He recovered, but always remembered the memory of that night. Albom was very interested in his uncle's near-death experience and decided to develop it into a story, exploring the concept of heaven and who would be waiting for the deceased in the afterlife.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven was a widely successful book, becoming a New York Times Bestseller and a television movie.

1. In your notebooks explain in detail your "heaven".

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