Jeffrey Zaslow passed away on February 10, 2012. This page remains as a memorial to his life and work. You may share your stories and reach out to Jeff's family at Remembering Zazz.
Jeffrey Zaslow was a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to writing The Girls from Ames, he was coauthor of the international bestseller The Last Lecture.
Zaslow’s column, Moving On, focused on life transitions and often attracted wide media interest. That was certainly the case in September 2007, after Zaslow attended the final lecture of Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch. Zaslow’s column about the talk sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Tens of millions of people have since viewed footage of the lecture on the Internet and on TV.
The book by Pausch and Zaslow, translated into 44 languages, has been a #1 New York Times best-seller and has topped best-seller lists worldwide. There are more than 4 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. Intense media coverage included The Oprah Winfrey Show and an ABC special hosted by Diane Sawyer.
Zaslow was drawn to the story of Randy Pausch – and to the Ames girls — because he created a beat unlike almost any other in journalism. While The Wall Street Journal covers the heart of the financial world, Zaslow tended to the hearts of its readers. There are a thousand emotionally charged transitions that people face in their lives, and most come without a roadmap. That was the territory of his column—from finding a spouse to losing a job, from a child’s first crush to an old person’s last wishes. The Girls from Ames grew out of a column Zaslow wrote about the power of lifelong friendships.
Zaslow’s column was twice named the best general-interest column in a newspaper with over 100,000 circulation by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Column Writing Award from the New York Newspaper Publishers Association.
Zaslow’s many TV appearances included The Tonight Show, Oprah, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The Today Show and Good Morning America.
Zaslow first worked at the Journal from 1983 to 1987, when he wrote a front-page feature about a competition to replace Ann Landers at the Chicago Sun-Times. He entered to get an angle for his story, and won the job over 12,000 other applicants. He worked as a columnist at the Sun-Times from 1987 to 2001.
In 2000, Zaslow received the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. Zaslow was honored for using his column to run programs that benefited 47,000 disadvantaged Chicago children. His annual singles party for charity, Zazz Bash, drew 7,000 readers a year and resulted in 78 marriages.
A Philadelphia native, Zaslow was a 1980 graduate of Carnegie Mellon, where he majored in creative writing. His wife, Sherry Margolis, is a TV news anchor with Fox 2 in Detroit. They had three daughters: Jordan, Alex and Eden.
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