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What I Learned When I Almost Died

What I Learned When I Almost Died

How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His BlackBerry and Started to Live His Life

What do you learn when your brain goes pop?

Chris Licht had always been ambitious. When he was only nine years old, he tracked down an NBC correspondent while on vacation to solicit advice for a career in television. At eleven, he began filming himself as he delivered the news. And by the time he was thirty-five, he landed his dream job: a fast-paced, demanding spot at the helm of MSNBC’s Morning Joe—one of the most popular shows on cable TV. He had become a real-life Jerry Maguire: hard-charging, obsessively competitive, and willing to sacrifice anything to get it done. He felt invincible. Then one day Chris heard a pop in his head, followed by a whoosh of blood and crippling pain. Doctors at the ER said he had suffered a near-deadly brain hemorrhage. Chris’s life had almost been cut short, and he had eight long days in a hospital bed to think about it.

What I Learned When I Almost Died tells the story of what happened next.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451627688 | 
  • May 2011
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Chris Licht: What I Learned When I Almost Died

Morning Joe producer, Chris Licht, shares his story of facing his own mortality.

Read an Excerpt

The Killer Producer

Lately, if I happen to be looking through my address book for a phone number, I’m apt to stop when I come across the name of someone I haven’t been in touch with for a while. A friend, maybe, or an acquaintance. When I do, I’m likely to fire off an e-mail with no more length or gravitas than this:

Hey, how you been?

The gesture is a small one, but I didn’t used to do this. Days that were filled with the pressure and crises of running a national cable television program had little room for casual nicety. If I wasn’t in the control room... see more

About the Author

Chris Licht
Photograph © NBC Universal

Chris Licht

Chris Licht is the co-creator and original executive producer of Morning Joe—the popular daily morning show on MSNBC hosted by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist. Before Morning Joe, Licht worked as executive producer on Scarborough Country. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Jenny and their two sons.




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