In Mitch Albom's memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, the character Morrie was Albom's favorite sociology professor, full name Morrie Schwarz, when Albom was earning his bachelor's degree at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Morrie had been Albom's mentor, and upon parting at graduation, it had been clear that Morrie had grown deeply fond of Albom as well, fond to the point of tears at saying goodbye. Though Albom had promised to keep in touch, disappointments with the progress of his own life made him lose connection with all past acquaintances. Albom felt drawn to reconnect with Morrie when he happened to catch Morrie being interviewed on the show Nightline for having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Albom immediately began a series of visits every Tuesday with Morrie; they treated these visits like a one-student class they called "A Professor's Final Course: His Own Death" in which Morrie instilled in Albom various points of wisdom about how to live life well. One of Morrie's greatest pieces of wisdom was to live each day like you are dying, or, as he phrased it, "Learn how to die, and you learn how to live." Other pieces of wisdom concerned putting limits on allowing yourself to feel self-pity, the importance of having the support of a family, the sacrosanctness of marriage, and many other valuable lessons.