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"Breaking Night" By Liz Murray On Monday's Access Utah

Hachette Books

Today's broadcast of "Access Utah" originally aired in 2011.

Liz Murray was born to loving, but drug-addicted parents in the New York City borough, the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and having lice-infested hair. Eventually Murray had skipped so many classes, she was put into a girl's home. At age 15, she found herself on the streets, when her family finally unraveled. She survived by foraging for food, and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep. 


When her mother died of Aids, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school. Often, she completed her schoolwork in the hallways of the subway station where she slept. She squeezed four years of high school into two years and won a scholarship from the New York Times,all while living as a homeless teenager in New York City. Murray was accepted to Harvard University, and graduated in 2009. Her memoir is called "Breaking Night: A memoir of forgiveness, survival and my journey from homeless to Harvard." 

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.