He is an encyclopedia of facts, figures and general knowledge, a man of intelligence, insight and opinion who possesses the literary skills to express all of them in a readable manner. Perhaps what defines Mr. David Wallechinsky best, though, is that he cares about people, politics and Olympic sport.
This, at least in part, explains why the United States Sports Academy will recognize Wallechinsky with a 2015 Honorary Doctorate. His story and impact, indeed, go far beyond one paragraph.
As President of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) since 2012 and a member of the organization since its inception in 1991, Wallechinsky has spearheaded the effort to promote and study the Olympic Movement and Olympic Games. Even before that, he began to let his passion for the top international sporting event pour out into printed word. For more than three decades now, he has kept readers abreast of the Olympics of the most recent goings by updating his reference volumes The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics and The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics.
Taken by the pageantry and performance he witnessed at the 1960 Rome Games with his father, famed novelist Irving Wallace, Wallechinsky developed a passion for the Olympics. The dedication he has shown and knowledge he has attained ever since led to him becoming a commentator for NBC and Westwood One radio from 1988 through the 2014 Sochi Games. They also paved the way to him receiving an Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee in 2002.
Born February 5, 1948 in Los Angeles, Calif., to Wallace and fellow writer Sylvia Kahn, there was little doubt that Wallechinsky would have, or develop, the skills to craft a catchy phrase or tell a tale. That creative gene passed down to his younger sister, Amy Wallace, as well. All four eventually collaborated on books.
The family connection extended beyond there, to the point it would explain why Wallechinsky’s name differs from the others mentioned. As a tribute to his grandfather and his Russian roots, he changed his name from Wallace upon discovering that Wallechinsky had been his grandfather’s name before immigration officers at Ellis Island left their imprints on the paperwork.
Married and with two sons, Wallechinsky has authored more than a dozen books, still contributes to the Huffington Post and founded AllGov.com, that states it “provides up-to-date news about more than 340 departments and agencies of the U.S. 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, and who is making a profit from the agency …”
Two of his books – What Really Happened to the Class of ’65? and The Book of Lists – were turned into television series by NBC and CBS, respectively. He also has been a guest on “Eye to Eye” with Katie Couric, “The O’Reilly Factor,” ABC World News, as well as “The Glenn Beck Program” and “The News Hour” with Jim Lehrer and CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
In addition, he has received an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine, not to mention that he has been inducted into the Trivia Hall of Fame.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy visit www.ussa.edu.