Liz was born in New York City in 1980 to drug addicted parents. Things hit an all time low in 1995 when Liz’s mother died due to complications from AIDS. Liz’s father, who was also HIV positive, was forced to move into a homeless shelter, which left both Liz and her sister homeless. The girls slept on 24-hour subway trains or park benches.
Despite lacking a home, Liz enrolled in the prestigious Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan. She enrolled late but still excelled, finishing high school in two years. She won a New York Times scholarship, was accepted into Harvard, attended in 1999 and then returned in 2006 and graduated in 2009. Liz Murray plans on going back again for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Her struggle with adversity became the subject of a Lifetime made-for-TV movie, FromHomeless to Harvard. Her memoir, Breaking Night, was published in 2010 and was a New York Times Bestseller.