Pat Williams

Pat Williams is the senior vice president and co-founder of the NBA's Orlando Magic and one of America's top motivational, inspirational, and humorous speakers. In his NBA career, he drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins as well as signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. As one of the NBA's most influential people and the author of more than 50 books, it's no surprise that Pat has teamed up with the world leader in life improvement — Chicken Soup for the Soul — as co-editor of their latest sports release, Chicken Soup for Soul: Inside Basketball.

Pat, raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelor's degree at Wake Forest University and his master's degree at Indiana University. He has a doctorate in Humane Letters from Flagler University and is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacons baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team.

After serving for seven years in the United States Army, Pat spent seven years with the Philadelphia Phillies — two years as a minor league catcher and five in the front office. He then spent three years with the Minnesota Twins before moving to the National Basketball Association. Since 1968, he has been affiliated with teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, including the 1983 World Champion 76ers, and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA Finals in 1995. Of his teams, 23 have gone to the NBA playoffs and five of them have made the NBA Finals.

Pat currently resides in Orlando, Fl., with his wife Ruth and their 19 children, including 14 adopted children from four nations. When he is not on the NBA circuit, Pat enjoys teaching adult Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Orlando. In addition to his work with Chicken Soup for the Soul, Pat is a motivational speaker who has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to universities and nonprofits.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Pat Williams) releases February 2009. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, publishes all the latest titles in the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series which are distributed through Simon and Schuster, Inc. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 112 million copies in the US and Canada alone, with titles translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous trademark to high quality licensees. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, is working with TV networks on several TV shows and is developing a major Internet presence dedicated to life improvement, emotional support, inspiration and wellness. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. For more information visit: www.chickensoup.com.

To request more information on Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball or to schedule an interview with Pat Williams, please contact Rusty Shelton at (512) 785-4469 or rusty@sheltoninteractive.com.