|Birth Day:||November 27, 1964|
|Death Date:||August 9, 2012|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, David Rakoff died on August 9, 2012.
Rakoff attended high school at the Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, and graduated in 1982. That year, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he majored in East Asian Studies and studied dance. Rakoff spent his third year of college at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and graduated in 1986. He worked in Japan as a translator with a fine arts publisher. His work was interrupted after four months when, at age 22, he contracted Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer he referred to as "a touch of cancer". He returned to Toronto for 18 months of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
From 1982, Rakoff lived in the United States (minus his four-month stay in Japan in 1986), first as a student, then as a resident alien. In the early 1990s he was issued a green card, a subject about which he wrote in one of his early newspaper articles. After living in the United States for 21 years, Rakoff was motivated by a desire to participate in the political process and applied for U.S. citizenship. Rakoff chronicled the experience of becoming an American citizen in an essay published in Don't Get Too Comfortable. He became a U.S. citizen in 2003, while at the same time retaining his Canadian citizenship.
Rakoff said that he owed David Sedaris and Sedaris' producer, Ira Glass, his entire career. Rakoff wrote to Sedaris in 1992, after hearing him read on the radio his essay, Santaland Diaries, about being a Christmas elf, which was to make him famous. That day, Rakoff wrote to Sedaris immediately to ask if he could publish Sedaris' works (which he later confessed he had no intention of doing, since he was desperate to leave publishing). They became friends, with Rakoff doing work in the theatre with Sedaris, first directing a play written by Sedaris and his sister Amy Sedaris, and later acting in their plays. Through Sedaris, Rakoff met Ira Glass, who was then a junior reporter on the NPR radio program Morning Edition. When Glass began This American Life, Rakoff became involved with the new show at its inception. Sedaris encouraged Rakoff to go on public radio, where Sedaris himself had achieved fame: at his urging Rakoff took work to This American Life, starting with "Christmas Freud", an account of Rakoff's job impersonating Sigmund Freud in the window of Barneys department store during the holidays.
In 1994, Rakoff directed Stitches, by David and Amy Sedaris. His direction was described as "clearly focused" by The New York Times and "brisk" by Newsday. He also directed Jail Babes starring The Duelling Bankheads (David Ilku and Clark Render) at La Mama, E.T.C. in 1996, and Mike Albo's one-man show, Spray, at P.S. 122 in New York City.
Rakoff said that his first career choice was to be an actor: he wrote, "like generations of other misfits before me, be they morphological, sexual or otherwise, I decided that I would make theatre my refuge". Rakoff performed in the theatre at university and acted while working full-time in the publishing industry and later while freelancing as a writer. For instance, he performed at the first US Comedy Arts Festival in 1995 in a play written by a friend. He has said that he likes acting because it involves other people, unlike writing. However, his self-assessment of his acting ability was "as it turns out, I'm a deeply uncompelling camera presence".
Before becoming a full-time writer, Rakoff worked for 13 years in the publishing industry, including as a publishing assistant and a publicist. He worked at a literary agency for 3 years and then as an editor and communications manager for 9 years at HarperCollins,. For a period starting when he was 25, Rakoff wrote freelance while working in the publishing industry. Eventually he was able to earn a living from his writing, becoming a full-time writer in 1998. While Rakoff was working in publishing, he wrote Q and A interviews entitled "The Way We Live Now", which appeared in The New York Times Magazine from 1999 to 2002.
Rakoff was a regular contributor to the radio program This American Life on Public Radio International, in which each week writers and performers contribute pieces (some documentary, some fiction) on a chosen topic, usually in the first person. The first was "Christmas Freud", an account of Rakoff's impersonating Sigmund Freud in the window of Barneys department store during the holidays. The piece appears in Fraud, his first collection published in 2001. He says that This American Life let him have his own take on things and break the bounds of just being a journalist. Most of his radio performances were recorded in the studio, but some were performed live. Rakoff was the first person to host a This American Life episode in place of Ira Glass (the episode being "Like It Or Not"), followed only by Nancy Updike. He appeared in This American Life: Live! (2008) but was cut from 2009 version (the video with Dave Hill is available on the internet. Rakoff was featured on This American Life's live broadcast, "Invisible Made Visible" on May 10, 2012, from the Skirball Theater, NYU.. He returned to the Canadian airwaves with his regular appearances on CBC Radio's Talking Books, hosted by Ian Brown. After that, Rakoff was also frequently heard on the CBC radio program WireTap. The August 17, 2012 episode of This American Life, titled "Our Friend David," was dedicated entirely to his essays on the program.
Don't Get Too Comfortable, which is subtitled "The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems" was published in 2005 and also consists of comical autobiographical essays. Some of the essays were originally published in shorter form elsewhere and some original. The over-riding theme of the articles is the absurdity and excessiveness in American life: the book is about luxuries and privileges being treated as deserved rights. Rakoff said that the moral of the book is that there should be "a little more guilt out there" and "we could all, myself included, count our blessings, acknowledge our privileges." The book was generally praised by critics. The New York Times said, "Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed". Emily Gordon says that in his "bursts of pure enthusiasm, he's a delectable Cole Porter, Nicholson Baker and Sarah Vowell smoothie". However, Rakoff was criticised in the Washington Post for misusing the word "like", with the reviewer suggesting that Rakoff's prose could use tightening. In The New York Times, Jennifer 8. Lee said the book was "no more than a collection of vaguely related magazine pieces" rather than "a coherent seriocomic manifesto", that some essays were off-theme, and not about narcissism and excess.
A third book of essays, Half Empty was published in September 2010. Rakoff said the book is "essentially about pessimism and melancholy: all the other less than pleasant to feel emotions that because they are less than pleasant to feel have been more or less stricken from the public discourse but in fact have their uses and even a certain beauty to them". The book won the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor.
In 2010, while writing the book Half Empty, Rakoff was diagnosed with a malignant tumor and Hodgkin's lymphoma, and later developed a post-radiation sarcoma behind his left collarbone and began chemotherapy. He died in Manhattan on August 9, 2012.
On July 16, 2013, Rakoff's novel in verse "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel" was published by Doubleday. Shortly before his death he recorded it as an audio-book with the help of Ira Glass in the studio of This American Life
Currently, David Rakoff is 57 years, 0 months and 1 days old. David Rakoff will celebrate 58th birthday on a Sunday 27th of November 2022. Below we countdown to David Rakoff upcoming birthday.