Books Giffords

This image provided by Scibner shows the cover of the joint memoir of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, titled "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope." The book was written with "The Last Lecture" co-author Jeffrey Zaslow.

DETROIT - Jeffrey Zaslow the best-selling author who worked with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly to write "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," was killed in a wreck today.

Zaslow, who wrote best-sellers such as "The Last Lecture," about a professor dying of pancreatic cancer, was scheduled to attend the Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona next month.

He was killed Friday when he lost control of his car on a snowy road after promoting his latest book in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula. He was 53.

The accident occurred about 9:15 a.m. Friday in Warner Township about 160 miles northwest of Lansing, according to the Antrim County sheriff's office.

Zaslow's car slid into the path of a semitrailer. He was killed on impact. No other details of the crash were released.

The sheriff's department did not release the name of the victim, but literary agent and friend Gary Morris confirmed Zaslow's death. Morris said he was told of Zaslow's death Friday evening by the author's wife.

Co-author of the million-selling "The Last Lecture," Zaslow was in northern Michigan speaking about "The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters." The book, based on a Michigan bridal shop, was published in December.

"His great talent was to find stories that had heart that people could relate to," Morris said.

Morris said Zaslow's first book was based on a 2007 column he wrote while at The Wall Street Journal. "The Last Lecture" was published in 2008.

He also worked on memoirs of Giffords and airline pilot Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.

"He was the most industrious and hardest working author I know," Morris said. "He never turned anything in late. He turned in the cleanest copy. It really was ethics. He was completely selfless in the writing of his own books and collaborations with others."

Zaslow lived in the Detroit area and is survived by his wife, Sherry, and three daughters, Alex, Eden and Jordan.