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Dave has experienced a truly extraordinary life. As a child, he endured the horrors of child abuse which included physical torture, mental cruelty, and near starvation. Dave was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous games--games that left him Dave nearly dead. With only his willpower to survive, He learned how to play his Mother's sinister games in order to survive because she no longer considered Dave a son but a slave, and no longer a boy but an "It."

Upon Dave's rescue, he was identified as one of the most severely abused children in California's history. At age 12, Dave's teachers risked their careers to notify the authorities and saved his life. Once he entered the foster care system, Dave fights for a stable setting, but found himself moving in out of five different homes, while continuing the fight to cope with his past. Throughout his journey, social service personnel, educators, counselors, and foster parents give their all to ensure Dave's well-being and protection from his vindictive mother, who, at one point, wishes to have Dave committed to a mental institution.

Once he left the foster care system at age 18, Dave enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. As a young adult Dave was determined to better himself--no matter what the odds.

As a member of the armed forces, Dave was hand-picked to midair refuel the highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Stealth Fighter, which played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm.

Some of Dave's distinctive accomplishments have been recognized through a number of awards, as well as personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In 1990, he was the recipient of the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He joins a distinguished group of alumni which includes: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Anne Bancroft, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, and Nelson Rockefeller. In 1994, Dave was the only American to be honored as one of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World. He also carried the coveted Centennial flame for the 1996 Olympics.

Dave's first book, A Child Called "It," was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. It tells his story as a young child. Dave is one of the only authors to have three books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List and the first author to have two books simultaneously on this list in trade paperback. All three books are highly acclaimed throughout the world. Dave's incredible life's story was featured on The Montel Williams Show, Sally Jesse, and Barbara Walter's The View.

Dave's unique and intriguing outlook on life, coupled with his "Robin Williams" like wit and sense of humor entertain and encourage men and women to overcome any obstacle while living life to its fullest. Dave is a living testament of resilience, faith in humanity, and personal responsibility. This is what makes him one of the most exceptional and unequaled entities of today. As an author, educator, and consultant, Dave has dedicated his life helping others . . . to help themselves.

29 Comments
May 1, 2008 By Team FosterClub

Comments

FC Steve's picture

FC Steve (not verified) said:

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress -- such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or entering the foster care system. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences and not letting setbacks get your down.

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

what does the word resilient mean? where you resilient

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

Dave,

I know how it is to be abused to that extent. I am ashamed that this world has come to this and all. I was physically abused and sexually abuse since age 9. it is a horrible fate that comes about. I used to hate when people would ridicule me because of the fact that I had to be put in foster care and sent to several group homes. I am glad that you published these books so that many people can realize that us foster children are not in foster care for any fault of our own. It also allows them to see how abuse will affect the child. I just wish that I could be like you in learning to forgive. I still have a hard time and what makes it worse is I have a 3 year old child. I know that I will break the chain I just have to keep surviving and fighting the odd. You are my hero and I wish you the best. I know that you will be a good influence to your son. Thanks for making it so that people understand a lot more about what we foster children go through.

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

dave pelzer i love your books i didnt become interested in reading untill i read your books

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

Dave,
i have read your books and i am truly amazed and inspired. these books are very emotional and..tear jerking! You are a brave man for sharing this with the world. and an even braver as a boy..

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

i went through the same thing just not as bad..i know how it is to be abused

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

I pray to be as strong as you were and are Mr. Pelzer

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

Dave, I am a 12 year old and I have read the first two books Child Called It and The Lost Boy and have been wanting to help. I dont know if there is anything i cando to help foster parents at this age but i promiced myself that i will become a foster parent and take care of childern just like you. When i read that all you ever wanted was to have your mothers love i was in class and started crying out loud. I wish that you didnt have to go through that but now I want to help kids that went through this kind of stuff.

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

Dave, you amaze me

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

I love his booooks!