James Van Praagh is the author of the best-selling books Talking to Heaven (1997) and Reaching to Heaven (1999). Van Praagh claims to be a "survival evidence medium" who can communicate with the spirits of the dead. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in broadcasting; later he moved to Los Angeles, worked in the legal department of Paramount Studios, and began to give paid readings as a psychic. Appearances on Oprah Winfrey and other talk shows increased his fame. In April of 2002 CBS aired a miniseries based on his writings, Living With the Dead, starring actor Ted Danson as Van Praagh. A TV series, Beyond With James Van Praagh, debuted in the fall of 2002.
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