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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal neuromuscular disease that is characterized by the progressive muscle loss that results in paralysis ALS was diagnosed by the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in 1869 As of now there is no known cure for ALS but Rilutek is a FDA approved drug that can slow down the progression of ALS Though it is almost always fatal there are rare instances where the progression of ALS does plateaus or have stopped completely Morrie Schwartz wrote his own epitaph A Teacher to the Last Born December 20 1916 he graduated from New Yorks City College and won a fellowship to the University of Chicago where he earned both a masters and PhD in sociology In 1959 he began a lifelong career teaching sociology at Brandeis University He continued teaching classes after he was diagnosed with ALS at the age of seventy-six incorporating what he was learning about the meaning of life as he faced impending death When ABC-TVs Nightline producer heard of his classes Ted Koppel flew to Boston for the first of three interviews with Morrie The shows were among the highest rated ever for Nightline Morrie Schwartzs final class with Mitch Albom was the week of his death Morrie was seventy-nine He is survived by his wife Charlotte sons Rob and Jon and hundreds of former students whose lives he influenced MITCH ALBOM 44 is a best-selling author nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press nationally syndicated radio host for ABC and flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit and television commentator MITCH ALBOM is the author of seven books including Tuesdays With Morrie the phenomenal New York Times bestseller that first appeared on that list in October 1997 and stayed atop the list for four straight years Oprah Winfrey produced a major television movie for ABC based on Tuesdays With Morrie that aired in December 1999 and starred Jack Lemmon and Hank
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