About the Storyteller


New Year's Eve at the circus

New Year's Eve at the circus

David Saltman is my name, and I’ve been honored as an innovator in both video and literary arts. I’ve won an Emmy and many other awards, but the most significant was having my work inducted into the Smithsonian Institution, recognizing its “innovation and excellence” in visual and editorial presentation.  (This was in collaboration with my old friend Robert Krulwich.) 


At the moment, I’m writing The Houdini Deception, a work of historical fiction based on Houdini’s tour of Russia in 1903, when he performed for the Tsar.  I’m also making a film about my late friend Jerry Andrus, who was the world’s foremost creator of optical illusions.

I’m co-executive producer of a 13-part documentary series currently on American public television, entitled “What We Eat,” an original, in-depth look at the cultural, social and economic history of food and drink, hosted by Burt Wolf.

Last year I produced several documentaries for NBC’s international cable channel, CNBC.  They just ran “American Airlines: A Week in the Life” for about the 89th time.

For many years, I was executive producer, producer, writer and prime mover of Pinnacle, the award-winning biographical profile series on CNN.  I made hundreds of documentaries at CNN, in addition to creating, writing, producing and winning awards for Movers, Your Money and Business Unusual.  I developed my filmmaking skills and journalistic sensibilities during years as a producer and writer for Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, sharing a Peabody award for my work on the legendary arts and culture magazine series on CBS.  I was head writer for the CBS Morning News with Bill Kurtis & Diane Sawyer during the only period in that broadcast’s history when it beat the Today show in the ratings.

As an author, my last book, Gilda, a biography of Gilda Radner, was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “elegiac” and “more exciting than prime time.”  I’ve authored or co-authored three more critically-acclaimed  and commercially successful books:  The Sports Book and The Great Escape, published by Bantam, and The Marrakech Express, published by Links. 

I began this zigzag career as a magazine writer and editor.  According to some respected authorities, my humor pieces in TV Guide, science writing in Omni and travel and adventure writing in Rolling Stone and The New York Times have set the standards for the art.  I’m hoping to expand my horizons as a storyteller through this blog.


2 Responses to “About the Storyteller”

  1. nina saltman Says:

    Please talk to me more about the Food program. Do you remember “The People’s Food System” in San Francisco, from 1973-1983? I worked in the “People’s Warehouse” moving vast quantities of dry goods to all the local coop stores. “Food for People Not for Profit” was our motto.

  2. Rex Says:

    David Saltman,

    I am really looking foreword to your film about Jerry Andrus. I am a fan of his magic, his illusions, and Jerry was my mentor and inspiration.

    Please let me know if there is any information about your film, and how I could see it once it is complete.


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