Dave Pelzer

Best-Selling Author and Inspirational Survivor

Dave Pelzer Fee Range
$10,001 to $20,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
California, United States

Dave Pelzer Speaker Biography

Best-Selling Author and Inspirational Survivor

In a word, Dave Pelzer embodies Esprit: Spirit, Humor & Wit. As a child, his resilience enabled him to overcome extreme life-threatening obstacles. As an adult, for over 20 years, Dave’s inspirational work has encouraged countless organizations and millions of individuals to recommit their efforts and remain steadfast to their personal convictions.

Abusive Childhood

Dave has experienced a truly extraordinary life. He nearly died several times by the hands of his mentally disturbed alcoholic mother. Years later it was determined that Dave’s case was identified as one of the most gruesome and extreme cases of child abuse in California’s then history. At age 12 Dave was finally rescued and placed in a series of foster homes until he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18. Even with all that was against him, 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. While serving on active duty and maintaining a rigorous flight schedule, Dave made time to give of himself. In 1990, Dave was the recipient of the JC Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year.


Some of Dave’s distinctive accomplishments have been recognized through a number of prestigious awards, as well as personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He joins a distinguished group including: John F. Kennedy, Anne Bancroft and Christopher Reeves. In 1994, Dave was the only American to be honored as The Outstanding Young Persons of the World! In 1996, he carried the coveted centennial flame for the Olympic Games. Dave was paid tribute as the recipient of the 2005 National Jefferson Award. Other alumni of this award include Colin Powell, Sandra Day O’Connor and Bob Hope.


Dave is the author of eight inspirational books. His latest book, Too Close to Me, the fifth in Pelzer’s nonfiction series, provides an honest and courageous look at the difficulties inherent in marriage, parenthood, work, and life from the perspective of someone who survived horrific physical and emotional terrors as a child—and who seeks to meet the responsibilities and complications of adult life with love, strength, and an open heart.

Dave’s first book, A Child Called “It” has been on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over 6 years and Dave’s books have been on the same Best Sellers List approaching 13 years combined. As an author, Dave is the first to have four # 1 International Best Sellers andto have four books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List.


Pre-production casting has begun on A Child Called “It” which is going to be the subject of a movie adaptation with Dave at the helm as producer.


Dave is a living testament of a self-made man, who as an optimist strongly exudes resilience, service to mankind, personal responsibility and faith in humanity. Dave’s unique and intriguing outlook on life, coupled with his “Robin Williams” like wit and sense of humor entertain and encourage all of us to truly commit to overcome any challenge, while living life to its fullest.


For over two decades, Dave has dedicated his life to helping others . . . to help themselves. While many make excuses and seem pessimistic, Dave carries the banner in a nation where opportunities are endless in what he calls “The Greatness of America.” And through his work, you will too.

Dave Pelzer Speaking Topics

The Real Heroes

This rare heart-felt program is given by a man whose life was saved by a system that many ridicule as being useless and incompetent. This highly emotional presentation pays tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in the life of a child, while at the same time educating the general public of the challenges faced by those in their chosen field. Dave carefully weaves the story of how his life was saved by teachers, a school nurse, the police department, social services and the foster care system. This is the perfect keynote for those within the system who are in need of a positive shot in the arm from a man who, too, has dedicated his life to helping others. Throughout the presentation, Dave laces a significant amount of relevant humor to help put the audience at ease, but also stresses the vital importance of advising those at-risk on becoming resilient and being accountable. In addition, Dave advises those working in their perspective fields not to become overwhelmed. It is important for them to care for themselves, so they in turn can continue to be a savor and champion of children as our countries: The Real Heroes.

Your Resolve

Your Resolve is based on Dave's New York Times Best Selling book Help Yourself, as well as, his two other self-help books, Help Yourself for Teens and Moving Forward. Through out the presentation, Dave weaves his life's story giving pertinent examples on, not only, how he was able to prevail but stresses proven, real-life, common sense advice for the audience to apply immediately. Also, in an effort to help ease the audience, Dave laces the program with relevant humor. In addition, Dave carefully advises the audience and those in their perspective fields, on the importance of taking care of themselves, so they in turn, can continue to be a service to others.

Help Yourself for Teens

For well over ten years and thousands of presentations to various middle schools, high schools and juvenile detention facilities throughout the nation, Dave Pelzer has emphasized a message of accountability and resilience to young adults no matter their past or hardships. Help Yourself for Teens is a presentation based on a self titled book which places a strong focus on a pyramid strategy of: developing the habit of addressing one's problems, identifying the critical importance of decisions made now and where they can lead to in the future and for young adults to aspire on bettering themselves. While Dave's program at times is entertaining, his premise is to educate and inspire young adults to become more productive, proactive, and responsible for their own lives.

Writers Studio Session with Dave Pelzer

As the author of the #1 world-wide best selling book, A Child Called “It”, that was on the New York Times Best Sellers List for well over 6 years, and one of a few authors to have 4 books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List, Dave knows something about the expansive field of publishing. For well over 15 years, Dave has given countless workshops not only on his writing process, but has also revealed the ups and downs of his distinctive publishing career. With his own brand of unrivaled humor and his at times serious “see straight though to the end” business like attitude, Dave enthralls writers of all levels. The objective is to educate writers on realistic expectations and the pitfalls of the publishing world, as well as, how to best navigate and enhance their own projects when it comes to dealing with agents, working with publishers, editors, and the marketing of their works.

Dave Pelzer Books

Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing a Child Called “It”
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The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager’s Story of Longing for Acceptance and Friendship
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Moving Forward: Taking the Lead in Your Life
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A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness
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The Lost Boy: A Foster Child’s Search for the Love of a Family
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A Child Called It
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Dave Pelzer Videos

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Recent Books

Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing a Child Called “It”
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The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager’s Story of Longing for Acceptance and Friendship
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