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Friend, David 1955-

Friend, David 1955-

PERSONAL: Born January 31, 1955, in Chicago, IL; married Nancy Paulsen; children: Sam and Molly (twins). Education: Amherst College, B.A., 1977.

ADDRESSES: E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER: Publishing executive, writer, editor, and poet. Life magazine, New York, NY, correspondent, 1978-86, senior editor, 1987-92, director of photography and new media, 1992-98, director of photography and assistant managing editor, 1998;Vanity Fair, New York, NY, editor of creative development, beginning 1998. Also member of numerous national and international photography award juries; cocurator of numerous photography exhibitions, including Somalia’s Cry; video contributions include LIFE at Woodstock; producer of CD-ROM The Face of Life, 1936-72; helped place first independent photography exhibition on genocide in Bosnia at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Also created the Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards for Magazine Photography under the auspices of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

MEMBER: International Center of Photography (president’s council), Overseas Press Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Photojournalism editing award, National Press Photographers Association; Emmy and Peabody Awards, as an executive producer of the documentary 9/11, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).


Baseball, Football, Daddy, and Me (juvenile), pictures by Rick Brown, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

(With the editors of Life) The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1991.

(Editor, with the editors of Life) More Reflections on the Meaning of Life, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1992.

(Editor, with Gigi Benson) Harry Benson, First Families: An Intimate Portrait from the Kennedys to the Clintons, forewords by Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush, Bulfinch Press (Boston, MA), 1997.

(Editor, with Graydon Carter) Vanity Fair’s Hollywood, text by Christopher Hitchens, Viking Studio (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Graydon Carter) Oscar Night from the Editors of Vanity Fair: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties, afterword by Dominick Dunne, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.

Watching the World Change: The Stories behind the Images of 9/11, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of articles, essays, and cartoons to periodicals, including the London Sunday Times, Playboy, National Lampoon, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Life, Washington Post, Discover, Common Review, and the New York Times. Served as editorial director of Life magazine Web site. Also contributor of poetry to periodicals, including the New Yorker.

SIDELIGHTS: David Friend is a writer and publishing executive whose wide-ranging works include everything from a children’s book to a book featuring photographs of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. In his children’s book, Baseball, Football, Daddy, and Me, with pictures by Rick Brown, Friend tells the story of a father and his young son who go to various sporting events, forming a strong bond and many memories. Jeff Unger, writing in Entertainment Weekly, noted that “there will be few fathers who finish this book without planning a trip to a game.” A People contributor referred to the book as a “sweet little story.”

Friend collaborates with the editors of Life for The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here. The book features the replies of various people—from the famous to unknowns such as taxi drivers—to the question of what they think the meaning of life may be, as posed by the editors of Life magazine. The book features 173 responses and 132 photographs by various photographers. In a review in People, Ralph Novak noted that many of the answers are “provocative, funny and/or enlightening.” Novak added: “Most of these answers probably tell us more about the people giving them than the nature of the universe, but that’s OK.”

Friend and Graydon Carter take a look at the biggest night in Hollywood in their book Oscar Night from the Editors of Vanity Fair: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties. The book chronicles through text and photographs the famous awards night beginning with the 1929 affair. The photographs feature movie stars of the past such as Janet Gaynor and Tyrone Power, as well as modern fan favorites such as Brad Pitt. “The people love celebrity, and VF serves it to them with style and brains,” wrote Heather McCormack in the Library Journal.

Friend takes on a more serious subject matter in his book Watching the World Change: The Stories behind the Images of 9/11. The book features both the photographs and recollections of a wide range of photographers, from professionals to amateurs, who witnessed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and who took photographs of the event in progress, as well as its aftermath. As they discuss this day, many ponder issues such as the ethics of photographing the terrible event that killed so many people. The author also writes about the overall effect of photography on the modern society’s perception of the world. “A brief review can’t do justice to Watching the World Change, a lucid, thoughtful and wide-ranging book,” wrote Garrison Keillor in the New York Times.“In truth, Friend’s excellent writing conveys more of the truth of the day than photographs can.” In a review in Booklist, Vanessa Bush noted that “this compelling book demonstrates the power and pathos of an unforgettable event.” A Kirkus Reviews contributor referred to Watching the World Change as “an informed and intimate account—accompanied by some disturbing photos—of one of the worst days in American history.”



Booklist, September 15, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of Watching the World Change: The Stories behind the Images of 9/11, p. 18.

Entertainment Weekly, May 15, 1992, Jeff Unger, review of Baseball, Football, Daddy, and Me, p. 74.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2006, review of Watching the World Change, p. 661.

Library Journal, October 15, 2004, Heather McCormack, review of Oscar Night from the Editors of Vanity Fair: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties, p. 64; October 1, 2006, Melissa M. Johnson, review of Watching the World Change, p. 92.

New York Times, September 3, 2006, Garrison Keillor, “Bearing Witness,” review of Watching the World Change.

People, May 14, 1990, review of Baseball, Football, Daddy, and Me, p. 36; April 15, 1991, Ralph Novak, review of The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here, p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 1990, Diane Roback, review of Baseball, Football, Daddy, and Me, p. 59; June 26, 2006, review of Watching the World Change, p. 44.

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