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Author, CMU alumnus Jeffrey Zaslow dies in car crash

Jeffrey Zaslow, alumnus and best-selling author, died Friday in a car crash. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University) Jeffrey Zaslow, alumnus and best-selling author, died Friday in a car crash. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University)

Jeffrey Zaslow died on Friday at the age of 53 from injuries he suffered in a car crash in northern Michigan. Zaslow was a Wall Street Journal columnist, best-selling author of The Last Lecture, and Carnegie Mellon alumnus (HS'80). While on campus he was a member of fraternity Pi Lambda Phi and editor-in-chief of The Tartan.

The Last Lecture was co-authored by Zaslow and Randy Pausch, the late Carnegie Mellon computer science professor and co-founder of the Entertainment Technology Center. Pausch gained recognition for his motivational lecture, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," in which he addressed a packed McConomy Auditorium on his unique life and his optimistic attitude on living with pancreatic cancer. The book spent more than a year on bestseller lists and has been translated into 48 languages.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Zaslow lost control of his car while driving on a snowy road and collided with a truck. He is survived by his wife Sherry Margolis, a television news anchor in Detroit, and by their three daughters, Jordan, Alex, and Eden.

Other famous works by Zaslow include Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, co-written with Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who famously landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009. The book debuted at the third spot on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 2011, Zaslow collaborated with veteran astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, on their memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. The book was excerpted as a People magazine cover story, and debuted fifth on The New York Times bestsellers list. Zaslow's last book, The Magic Room, was released last month.