Mitch Albom was born in New Jersey in 1958, the second of three children. He grew up loving music and taught himself how to play the piano. He played in bands throughout his teenage years. Albom finished high school in three years and then attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he majored in Sociology. After graduation, he continued to explore the world and his love of music, performing in Europe and the United States. However, while living in New York in his 20s, Albom became interested in journalism and volunteered for a local weekly paper, The Queens Tribune. This experience piqued his interest in the craft, so he applied to graduate school. Albom earned a Masters degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism followed by an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Albom paid part of his tuition by working as a professional pianist.
Following his academic career, Albom became a full-time writer in New York City. He started out as a freelance sports journalist for publications such as Sports Illustrated and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He moved to Detroit in 1985, where he became a sports writer for The Detroit Free Press. Albom soon branched out into multiple forms of media, contributing to radio shows and television programs in addition to a growing list of periodicals.
Albom is the author of four novels. Three of them have been turned into TV movies, including Tuesdays with Morrie, which Oprah Winfrey produced. The Five People You Meet in Heaven was made into a TV movie in 2004. Albom currently hosts a daily radio talk show and appears regularly on ESPN's "Sports Reporters" and "SportsCenter."