Albert, known as Alberto Malich when he founded the Unseen University, tried to perform the Rite of AshkEnte backwards in order to gain immortality - reasoning that a spell that brings Death to you, performed backwards, would keep him away from you. Instead it brought him to Death. He succeeded in a way, since Malich was sent to Death's Domain, where Time does not flow the same as it does on the Discworld. Death now employs him as his butler. As of his acceptance of the position, "Albert" had 91 days, three hours and five minutes of Time left on the Disc, most of which he spent shopping and using the soap and bath at the Young Men's Reformed Cultist of the Ichor-God-Bel-Shamharoth's Association (Death is not very good at making plumbing).
There was a statue of Alberto in the hallway of Unseen University, inscribed (apart from the usual student scribbles) with "We Shall Not See His Like Again". This, of course, turns out to be entirely wrong. After the destruction of the statue in Mort, and the wizards' belief that the returned Albert was the statue, it is suggested that a new one be built in a very secure place, such as the dungeon (Allegedly to prevent it being defiled by students).
When Death is missing in Soul Music, Albert tries to find him on the Disc but gets robbed and his life-timer (hourglass of life) is broken. After this incident, Albert has approximately 5 seconds left, and thus cannot return to the world of the living anymore, as Death cannot make his life longer. The remaining sand is now kept in a bottle in Albert's bedroom. However, Albert was able to temporarily return to the Discworld during the events of Hogfather, although in this instance he merely inhabited the pseudo-reality created for the Hogfather to allow him to travel around the entire world in a single night (just like Santa Claus), and hence was not actually in the world.
While Death and Albert seem to get on, it is a fragile relationship. In Mort, Albert returns to the world to help Death, but seems ready to attack him when it looks like he has his former job as Archchancellor back. He also seems not to trust Death with his life-timer, which is why he takes it with him in Soul Music. Frequently, Albert finds himself trying to keep Death "on course" when his master becomes too human. He and Susan do not get on very well.
Albert is also a highly idiosyncratic cook, believing everything needs to be fried to get rid of the germs, including porridge.
Albert is said to be named after the Earth philosopher and theologian Albertus Magnus
Within Albert's 'previous' life as Alberto Malich he was a very powerful Wizard, perhaps the most powerful a Wizard can be without becoming a Sourceror. This is reflected in how easily Albert devised a spell to slow the passage of time (A near-impossible feat with Discworld magic) indefinitely around a small area.
Albert's past was touched upon lightly in Hogfather, he seemed to have come from a very poor (even by Ankh-Morpork standards) family. He is fond of pork pies with mustard and adores drinking sherry.
Albert also makes an appearance in the Discworld computer game, Discworld 2: Missing Presumed...!?