February 5, 1948
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Education||Palisades High School|
|Known for||The People's Almanac , The Book of Lists , The Complete Book of the Olympics|
|Parent(s)|| Irving Wallace |
|Relatives||Amy Wallace (sister)|
David Wallechinsky (born David Wallace, 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 and worldfilmreviews.us.
David Wallechinsky was born in Los Angeles to a Jewish family,the son of writer Sylvia Kahn and the author and screenwriter Irving Wallace. 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 Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, graduating in 1965. One of his classmates was future film critic and talk radio host 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.
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In 1973, Wallechinsky grew dismayed with almanacs that, in his opinion, rehashed bare facts. As such, he began developing an idea for a reference book to be read for pleasure, that would disclose the seemingly unmentioned true-tales of history. He worked alone for twelve months, before being joined by his father for an additional 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, compelling Wallechinsky (in conjunction with his father and sister Amy) to write The Book of Lists , which became an international best-seller. Both books spawned not only follow-up editions but innumerable copycat 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 fatherand 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. 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 a number of years.In 2006, this subject became a book entitled: Tyrants: The World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators. These men were: 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, which is not mentioned on the book's US cover.
Wallechinsky is a vegetarian and is married to Flora Chavez. They have two sons: Elijah Chavez Wallechinsky (b. Los Angeles, June 3, 1983)and Aaron Chavez Wallechinsky (b. West Park Hospital, Canoga Park, Los Angeles, January 5, 1986). Both brothers are avid photographers and designers. Wallechinsky splits his time between Santa Monica, California and the south of France.
Irving Wallace was an American best-selling author and screenwriter. He was known for his heavily researched novels, many with a sexual theme.
The People's Almanac is a series of three books published in 1975, 1978 and 1981 by David Wallechinsky and his father Irving Wallace.
The Book of Lists refers to any one of a series of books compiled by David Wallechinsky, his father Irving Wallace and sister Amy Wallace. Each book contains hundreds of lists on unusual or obscure topics, for example:
The Book of Predictions was a book published in 1980 and written by David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, and Irving Wallace, the authors of The Book of Lists. Written in the same type of style, it includes lists of predictions by scientists, science fiction authors, politicians, and others. Other contents include:
Philipp Andreas Oldenburger was a renowned 17th century lawyer and political historian from Germany.
John Hubert Stevens was an American bobsledder who competed in the 1930s. Competing in two Winter Olympics, he won the gold medal in the two-man event at Lake Placid in 1932.
David Greig "Skippy" Browning Jr. was a diver from the United States and Olympic champion. He represented the US at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, where he received a gold medal in springboard diving. After his Olympic victory in Helsinki, Browning shinnied up a flag pole to steal an Olympic flag and was arrested.
Milan Janić was a Serbian sprint canoeist who competed from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s for Yugoslavia. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he won a silver medal in the K-1 1000 m event at Los Angeles in 1984.
Marcel Renaud was a French sprint and slalom canoeist who competed in the 1940s and the 1950s. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he won a silver medal in the C-2 10000 m event at Melbourne in 1956. Renaud also won a bronze medal in the K-4 1000 m at the 1954 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships at Mâcon. In canoe slalom, he won a gold medal in the C-1 team event at the 1949 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Geneva.
Marcel Renaud was a French racing cyclist who competed in the mid-1920s. He finished fourth in the 4000 m team pursuit event at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Ronald Lloyd "Ron" Zinn was a race walker from the United States, who represented his native country at two Summer Olympics, starting in 1960. His best finish was sixth place in the men's 20 km walk at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He came in third in the 20 km event at the 1963 Pan American Games.
For the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a total of five sports venues were used. The main stadium hosted the figure skating, ice hockey, and speed skating events. Skeleton was first held at the Cresta Run. Bobsleigh was held at the bob run. St. Moritz itself served as cross-country skiing venue and the cross-country part of the Nordic combined event. Weather gave two events run at these games problems, creating the largest margin of victory in Olympic history for one and the cancellation of the other.
For the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, a total of ten sports venues were used. Most venues were constructed between the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck and the 1968 Games. Thawing was an issue for the four-man bobsleigh run. They were limited to only two runs. Thawing also affected the men's 500 m speed skating event. Electronic timing in alpine skiing affected the results of the women's giant slalom event. It gave Canada's Nancy Greene a headache for two days despite her gold medal in the event.
For the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, a total of thirteen sports venues were used. Val-d'Isère has been part of the Alpine Skiing World Cup since the late 1960s while Tignes served as host of the first Freestyle World Ski Championships in 1986. Most of the venues used were constructed between 1987 and mid 1990 with the test events taking place in late 1990 and early 1991. It was the last Winter Olympics with an outdoor speed skating rink which led to weather issues for three of the ten events. Three cross-country skiing events were run in snowstorms while the men's 20 km biathlon was found to be 0.563 km (0.350 mi) too short. The downhill events in alpine skiing were criticized for being too steep. Freestyle skiing made its official debut at these games with the men's winner being stormed after his win while the women's winner won her event in a snow storm. La Plagne hosted the skeleton World Championships in 1993 while Val-d'Isère hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2009.
For the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, a total of fifteen sports venues were used. Nagano had attempted twice to host the Winter Olympics, losing out to Sapporo, host of the 1972 Winter Olympics. The third time, in 1991, Nagano edged out Salt Lake City to host the 1998 Games. The biathlon venue was adjusted in accordance with the Washington Convention over endangered species. The biggest venue controversy was at Happo'one resort on the length of the men's downhill and the battle that ensued to the point where skiing officials threatened to pull the event entirely before a compromise was reached three months before the Olympics. M-Wave has hosted three World Speed Skating Championships since the Olympics while the Spiral has hosted a couple of World championships in bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton.
Amy Wallace was an American writer. She was the daughter of writers Irving Wallace and Sylvia Wallace and the sister of writer and populist historian David Wallechinsky. She was co-author of the bestselling book, The Book of Lists (1977).
Deborah Marie “Debby” Hartin was an American lecturer and activist. Her 1970 divorce following a gender transition made national headlines, and she went on to appear on numerous talk shows. Hartin was selected by The Book of Lists as one of ten renowned trans women, and she was featured in the 1978 documentary Let Me Die a Woman.
The Four-man bobsleigh competition at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville was held on 21 and 22 February, at La Plagne.
Yoel Sela is an Israeli Olympic competitive sailor.
Eldad Amir is an Israeli Olympic competitive sailor.