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Dave was born in 1947, in Armonk, New York. His educational experiences include being elected class clown by Pleasantville High School in 1965, playing in "Federal Duck" (a rock band) in college, and earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Haverford College in 1969.
His journalism career began as a business writing consultant at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In 1983, Dave started working as a humor columnist for The Miami Herald. Dave won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988, "For his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns."
For a 1992 American Booksellers Association convention, several authors formed a band for charity: The "Rock Bottom Remainders" (a publishing term for books that don't sell). The band's members, which has at various times included Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Kathy Goldmark, Roy Blount Jr, Barbara Kingsolver, and Matt Groening, "are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud," according to Barry. The band's road tour resulted in the book Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, which is now out of print.
CBS broadcast the situation comedy Dave's World for four seasons, from 1993 to 1997, based on the books Dave Barry Turns 40 and Dave Barry's Greatest Hits, starring Harry Anderson as Dave, and DeLane Matthews as Beth. In an early episode, Dave was cast in a cameo role. The program was cancelled shortly after being moved from Monday to Friday.
Dave's first novel, Big Trouble, was made into a motion picture, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tim Allen, Rene Russo and Patrick Warburton, with a cameo by Barry. The movie was originally due for release in late 2001, but was postponed shortly after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack because the story involved smuggling a nuclear weapon onto an airplane.
Articles written by Dave have appeared in publications such as Boating, Home Office Computing, and Reader's Digest.
When distinguishing fact from hyperbole, Dave frequently asserts: "I am not making this up." His writings center largely on exploding or flaming items (cows, whales, vacuum cleaners, toilets, pop tarts, Barbie dolls, etc.), dogs' lacking intelligence, and amusing government studies. He also frequently runs for President of the United States.
Unofficial Dave Barry Website