David Schmidle, 76, Passes Away
David Schmidle was 76 when he died unexpectedly on February 26, 2019. Born August 28th 1946 in West Seneca New York – David was predeceased by three siblings who both died before him.
Schmidle, an esteemed staff writer for The New Yorker, recently won a National Magazine Award nomination with his article about the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden; however, several readers have criticised his article for failing to be transparent enough about how much of its information comes from second-hand accounts.
Early Life and Education
Early in his life, david schmidle was always on the move. At an early age he enlisted in the Air Force, earning his wings while traveling throughout various regions of the globe. Later on he attended college to pursue a degree in English and education.
After spending two years writing about Pakistan’s military, and writing an international headline-making article about Taliban-controlled Swat Valley in 2006, he returned home and began work on a book about his time there; but soon realized it still wasn’t satisfactory as he left without having formed clear understandings with those he interviewed; only once back home did he realize his narrative required more information and research sources to tell its tale effectively.
David Schmidle has had an exciting and turbulent professional journey: from high school dropout to National Magazine Award finalist and New York Times best-selling author. At every turn he has taken time to document what he sees and learns along his search for epic stories.
One of his greatest successes was being embedded with Virgin Galactic, founded by Sir Richard Branson that offers suborbital space flights. At Virgin Galactic he found engineers, pilots and executives willing to take risks for something they believed in; taking sixteen reporting trips out to Mojave California operating base where hundreds of interviews took place; this resulted in Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut which The New York Times described as “masterly work.” Test Gods is an engaging tale about risk management associated with being involved with spaceflight business that tells their own tale – Test Gods was his story about being involved with Virgin Galactic!
Achievement and Honors
David Schmidle was especially proud to have served as flight engineer on board the storable TSE, becoming one of the first students ever to receive an exemplary telecommunications award for installing state-of-the-art voice and data network equipment. Even during a busy work schedule, his dedication was unmatched; one aspect of which was making the most out of every opportunity that presented itself.
David Schmidle has spent much of his professional career traveling and documenting life around him. With a background in journalism and an affiliation to The New Yorker, Schmidle has traveled widely while documenting it all for himself.
He is the author of Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Creation of a Modern Astronaut, an eyewitness account into space travel through exclusive inside reporting.
This book follows Mark Stucky, lead pilot for Virgin Galactic and first person to fly a SpaceShipTwo into space. It offers an engaging account of Virgin Galactic’s development over time and any issues it encountered along its path.
This book is excellently written, packed with fascinating details and will appeal to any space travel enthusiast.
Schmidle grew up in New York City and earned his graduate degree in English at Columbia University. Following this he received a two-year fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs that enabled him to travel and write about Pakistan’s conflict with Taliban militants for various publications including New York Times Magazine and Atlantic. Furthermore he is author of Test Gods: Inside Virgin Galactic’s Race to Make Space Flight Practical which has sold more than six million copies worldwide.