Matt Schudel has been an obituary writer at The Washington Post since 2004. He has degrees in English from the University of Nebraska and the University of Virginia and has never taken a course in journalism. He worked for a now-defunct book division of U.S. News & World Report and was a copy editor for The Washington Post’s Book World and Style sections before moving on to journalism jobs in Raleigh, N.C.; New York City; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has been a feature writer, magazine writer, jazz critic and art critic and has covered a wide variety of topics, including murder cases, wild armadillos and the space program. He is the author of a photo-biography of Muhammad Ali's years in Miami and the ghostwriter of the autobiography of civil rights photographer Flip Schulke. He likes writing obituaries because there is nothing more interesting than people's lives.