David Silverman (activist)

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"Dave Silverman" redirects here. For the animator, see David Silverman.
Dave Silverman
David Silverman-Apr 4 2011.JPG
Dave Silverman in 2011
Born (1966-08-13) 13 August 1966 (age 48)
Marblehead, Massachusetts, United States
Residence Cranford, New Jersey
Citizenship American
Institutions American Atheists
Known for Atheist activism, Separation of Church and State, Criticism of religion

David Silverman (born August 13, 1966) is the current president of the American Atheists, a nonprofit organization that supports the rights of atheists and the removal of expressions of religion in public when possibly interpretable as governmental endorsement, in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.


David Silverman began publicly challenging religion in high school and often states in interviews that he became an atheist at the age of six years.[1] Although he was never in the closet about his disbelief, he was forced to undergo his Bar mitzvah. He calls this the turning point in his life where he decided never to lie about his atheism again because he had gotten up on stage and told all the people he knew that he believed in a god.[2][3] Seventeen years later his father admitted to him that he also was an atheist.[3] He received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University and a Marketing MBA from Penn State University. Silverman is an inventor with seventy four patents, and has authored several articles, including a cover story for Inventors Digest.

Silverman has worked with the American Atheists organization since 1996, and has held a variety of roles, including: New Jersey State Director, Communications Director, and Vice President. He was elected president of American Atheists on September 16, 2010, following Ed Buckner. Silverman also cohosts the Atheist Viewpoint television program, writes for the NoGodBlog, attends protests, debates and conferences for atheism and freethought, across the country.[4][5]

Media appearances[edit]

During his tenure as Communications Director and Vice President of American Atheists, Silverman made several media appearances, but has been especially visible since becoming president.[5] An atheist awareness billboard campaign launched in the December 2010 sparked controversy and increased media exposure for the organization.[6] As a result of this campaign, Silverman has appeared on a number of television shows since late 2010, most notably, The O'Reilly Factor on January 4, 2011.

It was under Silverman's direction that the American Atheists group sought to block the preservation of a cross-beam section of the World Trade Center skeleton that resembled a cross. Silverman opined: "The World Trade Center cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their God, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross."[7]

Silverman attended and spoke at the 2011 American Atheists National Convention, in Des Moines, Iowa [8] During his speech, he announced Reason Rally, scheduled for Spring 2012. On March 24, 2012 the Reason Rally took place at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

On October 28, 2011, Silverman and Dinesh D'Souza participated in a public debate on whether Christianity is beneficial for America.[9]

Silverman went on Fox News's Hannity to discuss Christmas-themed billboards that American Atheists put up in Times Square, NYC.[10]


Silverman has been married for nearly two decades to publisher Hildy Silverman, who is an active worshiper in Judaism. The couple has one teenage daughter.[1][4] There are about 100,000 New Jersey license plates that are specialised vanity plates.[11] When Silverman requested a plate with the letters ATHE1ST it was denied by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as "objectionable". He appealed and the plate was issued.[12]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ed Buckner
President of American Atheists
2010 - present
Succeeded by