Biography

DAVID OLIPHANT

Please allow me to introduce myself, by sharing some of my life’s travels with you.

I was born on July 23, 1935, at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, New York, and lived at 660 Southern Boulevard, until graduation from Morris High School in June 1953.

Mom and Dad immigrated to the United States throughEllis Island in the early 1900s. Mom was from Russia and Dad from Poland. Mom was a young teenager, who went on to study bookkeeping, and Dad, an accomplished self-taught violinist and trumpet player with an outstanding voice who ended up working in a sweatshop, stitching ladies’ pocketbooks, along with working weekends with small bands! Finally, Dad went to cantorial school, and graduated with honors as “Cantor Oliphant”! I’m very grateful to my mom and dad for making me a very proud firstborn American.

During World War II, in 1944, at the age of nine-years-old, I was recruited to the Junior Civil Defense, and immediately became the junior warden for two South Bronx tenement buildings that housed 50 families. My job every night during air raid drills was to check each of the 50 apartments to be sure their window shades were down so no lights could be seen from the sky.

Additionally, I became the monitor at my elementary school, P.S. 62, for the entire fifth grade, also to oversee the air raid drills, to be sure everyone got under the tables, or out in the hallways, ready to evacuate if need be.

After graduation, I signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees.  Baseball probably saved my life, by getting me out of the schoolyard and neighborhood gangs.  It was too easy to sink into a career of hanging out at the corner candy store.

I was a right-handed pitcher, 6’1”, and a lean 190 pounds!  The Yankees sent me to Olean, New York to play my rookie season with the Olean Yankees in their minor league system.

After three exciting seasons with the New York Yankees, I found my way to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and played in their minor league system for another three seasons. By that time, I had graduated from CurryCollege in Milton, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History and Education. But, in the meantime, I learned a lot about life by playing baseball all over the United States, Canada andPuerto Rico. I learned how to share, be a team player, and hopefully, became a better person.

While at CurryCollege, I was president of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes. I’m very proud of that, because I was voted in by my peers. Another proud adventure in my education was being invited as a visiting student to Harvard University under the sponsorship of Dr. Donald Miller, founder and president of Curry College and a full professor at Harvard University. I will always be grateful to him for giving me that opportunity.

Becoming an American History teacher, as well as a baseball and basketball coach on the junior and senior high school levels, while teaching night courses on a college level to freshman American History students at Curry College to obtain MBA credits, was another life enriching experience.

My need to make a better living propelled me into the world of publishing. In 1963, I co-founded and became President of an educational distribution company, creating the “one-source supply” and “school book fair” concepts, to distribute educational paperbacks to public, private and parochial schools throughout theUnited States.

The late ‘60s and ‘70s allowed me to go in many directions in the publishing industry; one led to being chief consultant to the president and educational director of Xerox’s newly acquired company called American Education Publications (AEP).

AEP owned the Weekly Reader group, which was purchased from Wesleyan University Press.  I helped create and build nine (9) individual paperback book clubs for public, private and parochial elementary, junior and senior high schools. All 9 clubs were launched successfully within one year. My main contribution was to help select the titles from numerous paperback publishers, along with fine-tuning the nuts and bolts of the book clubs – especially their most successful auto-delivery club . . . for grades 9-12, the “History Club.” My responsibilities also included coordination of their fulfillment center.

With publishing in my blood, I founded and became president of an educational publishing company in 1968 (Pendulum Press, Inc.), and created the world-famous “Illustrated Classics” (125 volumes), the “Illustrated History of America” (12 volumes), and Shakespeare (12 volumes), all as high-motivational, low-readability materials for elementary, junior and senior high schools, both in English and Spanish. We sold, under my direction, over 100 million books. Over 100 of the titles were licensed in 17 languages.

Another exciting era of my publishing career was acting as a consultant for 10 years to Leon Shimkin, chairman and founder of Pocket Books and Simon & Schuster. I was also working with Herb Alexander, the then president of Pocket Books and Trident Press, both Simon & Schuster owned companies. One of my tasks was to identify new exciting manuscripts which led me to find a number of New York Times bestsellers, including The Way It Is – the Curt Flood baseball story and A Child’s Garden Of Grass (over 5 million copies sold), and many more.

One of Herb’s most interesting requests of me was to character and story edit, over the course of three consecutive 18-hour days, Harold Robbins’ 800-page manuscript of The Carpetbaggers. Finally, I have also been responsible for rewriting, editing, directing and getting eight medical books published. (Please see attached list.) Also, I kept Mr. Shimkin abreast of all current trends inAmerica.

Let’s fast forward to 1989, when I started working as an independent consultant with QVC, Inc., the world’s largest electronic retailer, which can currently be seen in more than 90 million homes across the United States. I continue to enjoy this journey immensely.

For 14 years, I had the honor of being President of a QVC joint venture company that is hopefully still helping hundreds of thousands of people to get on a healthier track. The company was called Health Ventures Partners (HVP).

Over the past 23 years, my partner, Deborah Kalman and I have been responsible for QVC retail sales of more than three quarters of a billion dollars.

Finally, my proudest accomplishment was as a volunteer President of Connecticut’s Fairfield County Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society serving 4 different 2-year terms as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for more than 30 years.

I would like to share with you, in 2007, I finished and co-authored a book called The Wellness Solution with Edward A. Taub, M.D., and Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D. My co-authors of this book, Dr. Taub and Dr. Murad, are the most brilliant associates I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Dr. Taub is a board-certified pediatrician and family medical doctor of more than 50 years, and was QVC’s Wellness Medical Doctor for 13 years. He has authored six books on wellness and preventive medicine and has been a member of the American Medical Association for over 50 years. Dr. Murad, who shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998 for identifying Nitric Oxide (NO) as the body’s signaling molecule. He is a medical doctor, a board-certified internist and was Chairman of the University of Texas, Medical School Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology as well as the Director of the University of Texas Institute of Molecular Medicine in Houston, Texas. As Drs. Taub and Murad have both said, “This book is dedicated to helping people help themselves, by reminding them that  health is their most precious asset!”     

I am also extremely proud of the fact, in 2008, Christiane Northrup, M.D., America’s OB/GYN co-authored a book with us that was published by Hay House, and released in October 2008, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause. Dr. Northrup is a New York Times bestselling author and has appeared on Oprah 15 times to date.

In 2009, I finished a novel based on a young minor league New York Yankee pitcher in 1953, called The Olean Yankees . . .

Also, in 2009, I co-authored another book with Dr. Taub and New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin, Managing Your Stress In Today’s World which was launched on July 9, 2009 on QVC. It was published by Reader’s Digest Books.

~ BREAKING NEWS ~ (7-23-11)

I am very proud to say, I have just co-authored with Michael Levin, a New York Times bestselling author, along with Deborah Kalman, “When All Else Fails, Sell!”. The publisher, Reader’s Digest Books (2012). This book is an inspirational motivational story in the spirit of Og Mandino, that will help many people, especially the military returning from the front lines, trying to fit into the fabric of our society, and make the big adjustment during these difficult job times into the workplace.

In my spare time, I enjoy writing, reading, collecting historical memorabilia, especially coins, for over 60 years, along with researching, cooking and golf, which takes up the rest of my “free” time! . . . Ha! Ha!

On a personal note, as you can see . . . my blessings have been numerous . . . but my most precious blessing was when I married Deborah Ann Kalman, over 23 years ago. Our relationship is truly my greatest achievement in love and in life.

Thank you for listening. God is good!