Ivan Wilzig

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Ivan L. Wilzig
Also known asPeaceman, Sir Ivan, Mr. Mitzvah
Born (1956-01-06) January 6, 1956 (age 63)
OriginNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, philanthropist, media personality
Years active2000-present
LabelsPeaceman Music Tommy Boy Records
Jellybean Recordings Artemis Records

Ivan L. Wilzig (born January 6, 1956) is an American recording artist and songwriter who is best known for his pop-dance remakes of 1960s and early 1970s peace songs.

He created The Peaceman Foundation, a non-profit organization that battles hatred, violence and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the US alone, he has appeared on various reality television shows, such as Who Wants to be a Superhero?,[1] on Syfy, Epic Castle on the Destination America channel The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons on VH1, Chef Roble & Co. on Bravo, and most recently on Super Heroes in 3D TV on 3Net.

Early life and banking career[edit]

Ivan Wilzig was born in 1956 and raised with his two younger siblings, Alan and sister Sherry, in Clifton, New Jersey,[2] where he attended Clifton High School.[3] Wilzig's father Siggi Wilzig (1926–2003) came to the United States as a Holocaust survivor from Germany. Fifty-nine of his relatives were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. His mother was collector Naomi Wilzig (1934-2015). After multiple salesman positions, Siggi Wilzig ultimately became Chairman, President and CEO of Wilshire Oil Company of Texas, then listed on the NYSE; and Chairman, President and CEO of The Trust Company of New Jersey, then listed on NASDAQ. Naomi Wilzig owns the World Erotic Art Museum in South Beach; his brother Alan owns Wilzig Racing Manor in upstate New York.[citation needed]

Wilzig graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1977, earning a B.A. degree in European intellectual history. He then earned his law degree at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in 1980.[1] Instead of practicing law, he joined his father in running The Trust Company of New Jersey, a full-service commercial bank founded in 1896. Under Wilzig[citation needed] the Trust brokered various deals that allowed 50 bank mini-branches to open up in A&P, Pathmark and ShopRite supermarkets, in affluent New Jersey counties.[4]

Music career[edit]

Wilzig began voice lessons at the age of 10. In his youth, he attended an Orthodox Hebrew school,[1] where he sang in the synagogue choir. His first professional gigs were singing at Kutsher's Country Club in the Catskill Mountains, and then as a soloist at Town Hall in New York City with the Samuel Sterner Choir. Later, he performed in both high school (Fiddler on the Roof) and college (Bye Bye Birdie) musicals. His father Siggi discouraged him from continuing in music as a career, wanting his son to have a more secure profession.[1]

In 2001, Ivan Wilzig knew recording industry executive Dave Jurman, Senior Director of Dance Music at Columbia Records. Jurman introduced Wilzig to two-time Grammy-Award nominee and record producer Ernie Lake, who produced Ivan's remake of John Lennon's "Imagine" with Ivan performing vocals.[5] Tom Silverman, owner of Tommy Boy Records signed the track and released it on September 4, 2001. "Imagine", sold 10,000 vinyl copies in its first three months and became a Top-40 hit on the Billboard Club Play Chart.[1]

His follow-up single, "San Francisco" was signed by label owner Jellybean Benitez, and released on Jellybean Recordings, reaching #7 on the Billboard Singles Sales Chart. Wilzig's third single, "Peace on Earth", was his first original song, and was released by Artemis Records, making the Billboard Charts and reached number #2 on the DMC (Dance Music Community) World Chart in the UK. His debut full-length 15-track album, I Am Peaceman, was released in September 2010 under his own label, Peaceman Music, and was produced by FORD, who had earned 18 gold and platinum records throughout his own career.

Wilzig's single off the album, remake of "Hare Krishna" went Top #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts on April 16, 2011. The success of "Hare Krishna" in Billboard lead to an album distribution deal in 2012 with Worldwide Records, the leading music distribution company in India. "La La Land," the first song co-written by Sir Ivan, is his biggest hit to date, having made the Billboard Top 40 Airplay Chart, the leading pop radio indicator.[citation needed]

Television & film[edit]

Reality TV[edit]

During the first season of Who Wants to be a Superhero? in 2006, Ivan attempted to audition with the producers as Peaceman, but he was too late to be included. He was encouraged to audition for the next season. His Peaceman character made the cut for Season Two,[1] but as a precondition, the SyFy channel owned by NBC, was to obtain the trademarks to contestant characters. Ivan refused to give up the trademark to Peaceman, and attempted to create a new character Mitzvah Man, but the name had already been trademarked. Mr. Mitzvah, however, was not trademarked, and he took on the identity of Mr. Mitzvah for the show. He was, however, eliminated after the 3rd episode by Stan Lee.[citation needed]


Ivan has appeared on numerous lifestyle and reality television shows since 2000. He was on the Travel Channel's Manhattan on the Beach in 2000, the WE show Single in the Hamptons in 2002. VH1's Hopelessly Rich (Hopelessly Rich)[1] VH1's (The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons).[6] in 2007. In 2012, Wilzig appeared on "The Crazy Hamptons Blowout," Episode 5 of Bravo's Chef Roble and Co., which aired January 1, 2012. Most recently, Sir Ivan made his first 3D TV appeared on 3Net's Super Heroes show, which first aired on February 10, 2013.[citation needed]

He appeared on the German TV channel ProSieben right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, where he discussed his single, "Imagine". In early 2004, this time as part of the series So lebt ein Milliardaer! Lifestyle of a Billionaire, he appeared as Peaceman next to supermodel Naomi Campbell, DJ Paul Oakenfold and tennis player Venus Williams. In 2006, ProSieben featured him in Die Maedchen und der Milliardaer (The Girls and the Billionaire).[6] In the late 1990s Ivan and Alan Wilzig built a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) medieval-style estate in Water Mill, in the Hamptons, on Long Island, New York.[4]


  • For What It's Worth (2008, Peaceman Music)
  • Kumbaya (2009, Peaceman Music)
  • Hare Krishna (2010, Peaceman Music)
  • 'Live For Today (2011, Peaceman Music)
  • I Am Peaceman (2010, Peaceman Music)
  • I Am Peaceman (2012, Peaceman Music/ Worldwide Records) - India
  • Here Comes The Sun (2013, Peaceman Music)
  • "Kiss All The Bullies Goodybye" (2015 Peaceman Music)
  • "Peaceman Shines 2016" (2016 Peaceman Music)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Davidovit, Aliza. "Sir Ivan Wilzig". Lifestyles Magazine. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Andrew (October 9, 2004). "A Caped Crusader for Peace (and Fun); Rich and Famous for His Fame, He's Shooting for Techno Stardom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  3. ^ Cook, Michael. "Sir Ivan", Get Out! magazine, September 27, 2012. Accessed September 17, 2018. "I was born in Newark, went to Clifton High School and worked for 20 years in the family business, Trust Company Bank, 'The Bank with Heart,' which was headquartered in Jersey City and had 100 branches in the northern half of the state when it was sold to North Fork Bank (now Capital One)."
  4. ^ a b Tore, Ulysses de la (August 5, 2004). "Ivan Wilzig: The Peaceman Cometh". East Hampton Star. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  5. ^ "Biography". Sir Ivan Music. May 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  6. ^ a b Zeveloff, Julie (July 19, 2012). "Meet Sir Ivan, The Ex-Bank Executive Who Runs The Playboy Mansion Of The Hamptons". Business Insider. Retrieved 2011-09-02.

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