February 15, 2012

Jefffrey Zaslow, R.I.P.

Remembrance of Jeffrey Zaslow, a lovely man whose column "Moving On'  in the Wall St Journal I very much enjoyed and often quoted.

 Jeffrey Zaslow

Life’s Frailty, and the Gestures That Go a Long Way by Tara Parker-Pope

I thought about our conversation this weekend when I learned the terrible news that Jeff had died in a car accident on snowy roads on his way to his Detroit-area home, returning from a book-signing event in northern Michigan. “The Girls From Ames” became a best seller, and remains my favorite among the books he wrote. But many people know Jeff as co-author of “The Last Lecture,” with the Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who delivered that now famous lecture after learning he had pancreatic cancer. 

Mr. Zaslow was also co-author of memoirs with Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman from Arizona who was recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, and Chesley B. Sullenberger III, the pilot who safely ditched a damaged airliner on the Hudson River in 2009. Despite the disparate subject matter, Mr. Zaslow noted that much of his writing centered on the theme of love, commitment and living in the moment.

“We don’t know what moment in our lives we’re going to be judged on; that’s true for all of us,” he said at a TED talk last year, explaining what he had learned from Captain Sullenberger. “We’ve got to be honorable, be moral; we’ve got to work our hardest.”

Despite his success as a memoir co-author, Jeff’s true labor of love was his latest book, “The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters.” Dedicated to his daughters, the book focused on a bridal shop in Fowler, Mich., as a way to tell a story of parents’ hopes and dreams.
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Jeff often said he honed his skills for listening and offering advice during a stint as an advice columnist, a role he won in a contest to replace Ann Landers.

Wall St Journal breaks the news of its columnist, Jeffrey Zaslow, 53 killed in a car crash.

Jeffrey Zaslow, a longtime Wall Street Journal writer and best-selling author with a rare gift for writing about love, loss, and other life passages with humor and empathy, died at age 53 on Friday of injuries suffered in a car crash in northern Michigan.
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He was twice named best columnist by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and in 2000 he received its Will Rogers Humanitarian Award.

In a statement Friday to the staff of the Journal, editor Robert Thomson said: "Jeff's writing, for the Journal and in his books, has been a source of inspiration for many people around the world and his journalistic life has been a source of inspiration for all journalists."
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More recently, he became one of America's best-selling nonfiction writers, known internationally for such books as "The Girls from Ames," the story of a 40-year friendship among 10 women, and "The Last Lecture," about Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor who in 2007 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live.

Chicago Sun Times obit

Jeffrey Zaslow — a former Chicago Sun-Times columnist who went on to sell millions of books with themes of compassion, inspiration and empathy — was killed Friday in a car crash in northern Michigan.

Mr. Zaslow teamed up with some of the country’s most inspirational people to help tell their stories, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Randy Pausch, the subject of Zaslow’s huge hit The Last Lecture, which has been translated into 48 languages and sold more than five million copies in English.
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Mr. Zaslow, the father of three daughters, was killed in a crash near the northern Michigan town of Elmira at 9 a.m. Friday, according to FOX 2 Detroit, where his wife, Sherry Margolis, is an TV anchor.

Police said Mr. Zaslow lost control of his car and was hit by a semi-trailer truck on a snow-covered road. He had been in the area previously for a book-signing.
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“Jeff was just a bundle of energy,” said Sue Ontiveros, Sun-Times deputy features editor, who spent time as Zaslow’s editor. “He did so well with the column, and his subsequent books, because he was such a compassionate man who was interested in people. He was kind and funny and so humble about his talents. And oh, how he loved Sherry and their girls.”
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Posted by Jill Fallon at February 15, 2012 1:40 PM | Permalink