Not much is publicly known about the early life of Mark Sandman, and that is just the way he wanted it. Friendly but private, Sandman preferred to discuss his professional work instead of himself. This much is known: Sandman was born on the 24th of September, 1952 and grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. Sometime after graduating from college he began working odd jobs and travelling, which included work as a cab driver, professional fisherman, and construction worker. According to Sandman he would work an extreme number of hours and spend his earnings on trips, most notably to Colorado. Two events impacted his life during this period and would later influence his music directly - the untimely death of his brothers and a stab wound "to the chest" he suffered. Some attributed this stab wound sustained during a robbery while working as a cab driver, and the suspected damage to his heart, to his untimely death years later. Sandman first obtained success with the blues-rock group Treat Her Right. They were later signed, and dropped, from a major recording label and once opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn. The band would later break up. While still playing in Treat Her Right in 1989, Sandman formed the rock group Morphine with saxophonist Dana Colley and drummer Jerome "Jerry" Deupree. Sandman spent the next ten years developing Morphine into an internationally-popular alternative rock band, developing his home studio Hi-n-Dry, and playing in various bands and groups in the Boston area, including the Supersonics, The Pale Brothers, and with various bandmates from Treat Her Right. On July 3rd, 1999, Morphine was playing in Palestrina, Italy, when Sandman suffered a fatal heart attack on stage. He was survived by his parents Bob and Tel Sandman, sister Martha Holmes, and his beloved girlfriend Sabine Hrechdakian. Morphine's final album, The Night, was released soon after to massive critical acclaim. A city block in Cambridge, Massachusetts has since been named in his honor, and a charitable organization (the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund) was formed to honor his memory by aiding the music education of schoolchildren in Cambridge. Annually, a tribute concert is also performed to benefit the Fund and keep Sandman's memory alive.