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Profumo was born in London, the son of former British government minister John Profumo and his wife, actress Valerie Hobson. The Profumo family is of Italian origin. David Profumo would have succeeded his father as 6th Baron Profumo in the nobility of the Kingdom of Sardinia, if the nobility of Italy had not been legally abolished after WW2. Like his father, he does not use this title.
Profumo was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He was Assistant Master of English at Eton in 1978 and at Shrewsbury School from 1978 to 1979. He then became part-time lecturer of English at King's College London, from 1981 to 1983 and Deputy Editor of Fiction Magazine from 1982 to 1984. He was a columnist for the Daily Telegraph from 1987 to 1995.
Profumo married BBC Television producer Helen Fraser, daughter of Alasdair Fraser, on 22 March 1979 at St Marylebone Parish Church, Marylebone, London. His son and heir is Alexander James Profumo.
- Sea Music London, Secker and Warburg, 1988.
- The Weather in Iceland London, Picador, 1993.
- In Praise of Trout. London, Viking, 1989.
- The Magic Wheel: An Anthology of Fishing Literature . Editor, with Graham Swift, London, Picador, 1985
- Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir, 2006
|The blind man eats many flies||?||?||Profumo, David (1985). "The blind man eats many flies". In Julian Evans (ed.). Foreign exchange. London: Sphere.|
Essays and reporting
- Profumo, David (Sep 10, 2014). "The little drummer bird". Country Life. 208 (37): 126–127.
- "David Profumo Biography". Net Industries. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "David Profumo, Esq". Debretts. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Profumo, David. Bringing the house down. John Murray, 2007.
- "The Peerage.com". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Adams, Tim (24 September 2006). "There were four of them in this marriage". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- Grice, Elizabeth (September 2, 2006). "Son breaks family's 40-year silence on scandal of the Profumo Affair". The Telegraph. London.
- David Profumo Biography - James, Fishing, London, Sea, Island, and Novel