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About Dave Pelzer.


Criticisms or questions about Pelzer's works have been raised in articles in the Mail on Sunday ("Is He Making 'It' All Up?"), the New York Times Magazine ("Dysfunction for Dollars"), and the online magazine Slate ("Dave Pelzer - The Child Abuse Entrepreneur").

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David James Pelzer (born December 29, 1960 in California) is an author and advocate for children's rights from California. As a child he was severely abused by his mother for a period of eight years, and he recalls that he was told this constituted one of the three worst cases of child abuse in Californian history. When he was twelve, his teachers finally notified the police, he was removed from his home and sent to live in a series of foster homes, where he gradually overcame the trauma of his earlier years.

He now travels throughout the nation promoting inspiration and resilience. His unique accomplishments have garnered commendations from several presidents. In 1994 he became the only American to win the "Outstanding Young Persons of the World award".

Dave PelzerDavid Pelzer.

Personal Life

Dave first married a woman he met in 1986, named Patsy. Her last name was never given. In August of that year, Mrs. Patsy Pelzer gave birth to a son to whom they gave the name Stephen Joseph Pelzer, after Dave's father, who had passed away some years before. In July 1994, when Dave's son was about to turn eight years old, Dave and Patsy separated. Later that year, they would divorce. Not long after, he met Marsha Donohoe, an editor, and they became good friends, not long before starting a romantic relationship. They would later wed, in June 1999.


Pelzer has written a number of books, some of which outline his experiences. Five of these were included in the New York Times bestsellers list over the past few years. His works include:

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