Michael J. Fox charmed his way into America's heart on the hit sit-com "Family Ties" and burst into super-stardom as Marty McFly in the classic 1980s "Back to the Future" trilogy.
After announcing in 1998 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Fox became one of the world's most high profile advocates for Parkinson's research.
To date, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has funded nearly $176 million in research, according to its Web site.
Recently, Fox penned an autobiographical book about not only dealing with the challenges that life brings, but thriving in them.
Read an excerpt of the book below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.
"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain
My photo appeared on the May 23, 2008, front page of my hometown paper, the Vancouver Sun, but the headline identified me as "Dr. Michael J. Fox." As neither I nor my brother, Steve, had ever given our mother any reason to expect that she'd someday utter the words "my son the doctor," she was immensely proud that the University of British Columbia had pronounced her baby boy a "Doctor of Laws."
Would it be crass to mention that I also have a doctorate of Fine Arts from NYU, as well as a doctorate of Humane Letters from Manhattan's Mt. Sinai School of Medicine? They're honorary, of course, which puts me on equal academic footing with the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.
On that early summer afternoon in Vancouver, Canada, resplendent in my royal blue and crimson ceremonial muumuu and deftly balancing the mortarboard yarmulke atop my bobbling head, I was given the opportunity to address assembled graduates and faculty, families and friends. Just as I had done on previous occasions, when similarly honored, I opened with a question: "What the hell were you people thinking? You are aware," I continued, "that I'm a high school dropout?"
Now that you have picked up this weighty tome from your local bookseller, I put the same question to you: What the hell were you thinking? Or, in the likelihood that someone else bought it for you as a graduation gift, you might want to ask them what the hell they were thinking. Not that I don't have some bona fides: I did receive my GED (General Equivalency Degree). I finally put in the effort to achieve this goal at the urging of my son. He was four at the time. I'd sit at the dining room table, Sam perched on my lap playing with a plastic dinosaur, while a math tutor schooled me in the finer points of the Pythagorean theorem. And so, at the tender age of thirty-two, with my son registered to begin kindergarten the next fall, I applied to take the test that would make me, for all intents and purposes, a high school graduate.
But that was 1994, approximately fifteen years after I left high school in the eleventh grade. In the intervening decade-and-a-half, I had been alternately fortunate and unfortunate enough to receive an amazingly comprehensive education, albeit unstructured, and often unbidden. Life 101.