Author Birthday: David Sedaris

Jennifer Mendez Editorials

Born December 26, 1956, David Raymond Sedaris is an American comedian, author and radio contributor. He is best known for his essay “SantaLand Diares.”

David has received praise for several books over the years, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, When You Are Englulfed in Flames, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

Let’s celebrate Sedaris’ birthday by getting to know him more, and seeing what knowledge aspiring authors can learn from his experiences.

Early Years

  • Sedaris was born in Johnson City, NY, the son of an IBM engineer. He grew up in North Carolina and was raised in a suburb of Raleigh.
  • David has six siblings; he is the second eldest.
  • For college, he first attended Western Carolina University, then transferred and dropped out of Kent State University. He eventually graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987.


  • Sedaris worked odd jobs across Raleigh, Chicago, and NYC. Radio host Ira Glass discovered him in a Chicago club. He appeared on his weekly local program, and Sedaris began leading a brand new life.
  • His success on The Wild Room led to his National Public Radio debut when he read “SantaLand Diaries.” In it, he described his experiences as an elf at Macy’s during Christmas time in NY.
  • Eventually, he began recording his diary entries for NPR, and signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown and Company.


  • He has released approximately nine books since 2013 and has participated in documentaries and TV shows.
  • An accomplished playwright, David has also written with his sister, Amy Sedaris. Plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, and The Little Frieda Mysteries.
  • Currently, Sedaris has contributed well over 40 essays to The New Yorker magazine and blog.
  • Sedaris lives in West Sussex, England with his boyfriend Hugh Hamrick. David mentions him in his stories quite often.


  • There’s nothing America loves more than self-deprecating humor. David is known for his autobiographical, exaggerated renditions of his experiences. Topics often include concerns about family life and his middle-class upbringing.
  • Most common topics revolve around his Greek heritage, homosexuality, and odd jobs prior to being discovered. He’s also known to joke about education, drug use, and obsessive behaviors.


David Sedaris is a prime example that anything is possible. Writers can make a living off of their writing. And they can lead happy lives abroad with their romantic partners. All it takes is a little dedication and patience. More so, actively seeking opportunities in which exposure is granted can lead to helpful connections. A helping hand never hurt anyone.

Will you go out in search of your helping hand?

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About the Author

Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez has brought insightful articles to From author interviews to how literature meets gaming to expert insight into tools and writing processes, her dedication to helping our author community is quite inspiring. You can find more of her writing at