From homeless to Harvard . . . it is an unlikely turn of events. Liz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity and a stunning example of the importance of dreaming big. Liz’s life as the child of cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx was bitterly grim. There was never food in the house, everything was filthy, drugs were everywhere and the welfare checks were spent before they arrived.
By age 15, Liz’s mom had died and she was homeless – living on the streets, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters. Amidst this pain, Liz always imagined her life could be much better than it was. ‘I started to grasp the value of the lessons learned while living on the streets. I knew, after overcoming those daily obstacles, that next to nothing could hold me down.’ Determined to take charge of her life, Liz finished high school in just two years while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. After attending Columbia University for a short period to be closer to her ill father, Liz has returned to Harvard where she is completing her degree.
Liz’s story is exhilarating and her delivery innocently honest, as she takes audiences on a very personal journey where she achieves the improbable. Her story sounds like a Hollywood movie – and it practically is. Lifetime Television produced a movie about Liz’s life story entitled From Homeless to Harvard, which premiered in April 2003. Liz is also the recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s first ever Chutzpah Award and is currently writing her memoirs for Hyperion.