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. Murray’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, Murray’s mom had died and she was homeless—living on the streets, riding the subway all night and eating from dumpsters. Amidst this pain, Murray 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, Murray finished high school in just two years while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations.
Murray’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 Murray’s life story entitled From Homeless to Harvard, which premiered in April 2003. Murray is the recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s first ever Chutzpah Award. Her memoir, Breaking Night, was released in September 2010 and within a week landed on The New York Times best-seller list.
Murray received her B.S. in Psychology from Harvard University in June 2009.