David Wallechinsky

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David Wallechinsky
Born David Wallace
(1948-02-05) February 5, 1948 (age 66)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Residence Los Angeles and France
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Education Palisades High School
Occupation Author
Television commentator
Populist historian
Known for The People's Almanac, The Book of Lists, The Complete Book of the Olympics
Political party
Democratic
Spouse(s) Flora Chavez
Children Elijah Chavez Wallechinsky
Aaron Chavez Wallechinsky
Parents Irving Wallace
Sylvia Kahn
Relatives Amy Wallace (sister)
Website
AllGov

David Wallechinsky (born February 5, 1948) is an American populist historian and television commentator, the president of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and the founder and editor-in-chief of AllGov.com.

Early life[edit]

David Wallechinsky was born David Wallace in Los Angeles to a Jewish family,[1] the son of writer Sylvia Kahn and the author and screenwriter Irving Wallace.[2] His younger sister was fellow author Amy Wallace, a "witch" of Carlos Castaneda who co-wrote many books with him and their father and authored Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda in 2003.

One day, after he got off an airplane in Britain, the customs officer looked at his passport and remarked, "Ah Wallace, a good Scottish boy coming home." Disquieted, back in the States he discovered that the original family name was Wallechinsky and he adopted that moniker. He was educated at Palisades High School in California, graduating in 1965. One of his classmates was future film critic and talk radio DJ Michael Medved, and they later wrote What Really Happened to the Class of '65, a series of interviews with their former classmates. Alone, Wallechinsky went back to his school year and wrote a similar book Midterm Report: The Class of '65: Chronicles of an American Generation about pupils from across America who left high school in that year.

Career[edit]

In 1973, Wallechinsky fed up with almanacs that regurgitated bare facts, had the idea for a reference book to be read for pleasure; a book that would tell the often untold true tales of history. He worked alone for 12 months before being joined by his father for a further year of research. The People's Almanac was published by Doubleday in 1975 and became a best-seller. One of the most popular chapters was a selection of lists and, joined by his father and sister, Wallechinsky wrote The Book of Lists, which became an international best-seller. Both books spawned not only follow-up editions but innumerable copy titles such as The Ethnic Almanac, The Jewish Almanac, The Book Of TV Lists, The Book Of Sex Lists, etc.

Wallechinsky was taken to the Rome Olympic Games in 1960 by his father[3] and a seed was germinated that later resulted in the seminal The Complete Book of the Olympics, a reference work that contained full results and many anecdotes about the modern Games. The book became unwieldy so was later split into two volumes The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics and The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics series.[4] Wallechinsky now shares the editorial duties with his nephew Jaime Loucky (b. Los Angeles 26 February 1981). The books led to work for Wallechinsky as an Olympic commentator for NBC.

In 1992 he was one of the founding members of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH). He served as Treasurer of the ISOH from 1996 to 2004, Vice-President from 2004 to 2012 and is currently serving a four-year term as the organization's President.

Wallechinsky is the founder of AllGov.com, which provides up-to-date news about more than 340 departments and agencies of the American government, most of which operate under the radar of the media, even when they have annual budgets of billions of dollars. AllGov tells you what each agency says it does, what it really does (in The People's Almanac Wallechinsky compiled a list of each country and had the topics "Who Rules?" and "Who REALLY Rules?"), and who is making a profit from the agency. It also gives a history of the agency, illuminates controversies relating to the agency and shares critiques and suggested reforms from both the left and the right.

He has compiled the list of "The World’s 10 Worst Dictators" for Parade magazine for the last several years.[5] In 2006, this subject became a book entitled: Tyrants: The World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators. These men are: Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), Kim Jong-il (North Korea), Than Shwe (Burma), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Islam Karimov (Uzbekistan), Hu Jintao (China), King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia), Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenistan), Seyed Ali Khamanei (Iran), Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Equatorial Guinea), Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), King Mswati III (Swaziland), Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan), Aleksandr Lukashenko (Belarus), Fidel Castro (Cuba), Isaias Afwerki (Eritrea), Bashar al-Assad (Syria), Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia), Paul Biya (Cameroon), and Choummaly Sayasone (Laos). There is a 21st chapter on the "special case" of George W. Bush (USA), which is not mentioned on the book's US cover.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Wallechinsky is a vegetarian and is married to Flora Chavez. They have two sons: Elijah Chavez Wallechinsky (b. Los Angeles, June 3, 1983)[7] and Aaron Chavez Wallechinsky (b. West Park Hospital, Canoga Park, Los Angeles, January 5, 1986).[8][9] Both brothers are avid photographers and designers.[10] Wallechinsky splits his time between Santa Monica, California and the south of France.

Works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dan Abrams' biodata". Jweekly.com. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  2. ^ "David Wallace, Born 02/05/1948 in California". CaliforniaBirthIndex.org. 1948-02-05. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  3. ^ "SI.com - 2006 Winter Olympics - Richard Deitsch: Wallechinsky's tome is everywhere - Friday February 17, 2006 12:39PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  4. ^ http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article683993.ece
  5. ^ "China Struggles to Fend Off Talk of Nazis - The New York Sun". Nysun.com. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  6. ^ Tyrants, Regan, 2006.
  7. ^ "Elijah Chavez Wallechinsky, Born 06/03/1983 in California". CaliforniaBirthIndex.org. 1983-06-03. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Aaron Chavez Wallechinsky, Born 01/05/1986 in California". CaliforniaBirthIndex.org. 1986-01-05. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  9. ^ "Names in the News". Apnewsarchive.com. 1986-01-07. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Wallechinsky Brothers = SOL (Style Of Life) « Union Los Angeles". Unionlosangeles.com. 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 

External links[edit]