City of Thieves

Early life

Benioff was born David Friedman in New York City in a Jewish family.[1] He is the son of Barbara (Benioff) and Stephen Friedman, who is a former head of Goldman Sachs.[2] He is a distant cousin of Marc Benioff.[3] As an adult, he changed his last name to Benioff, his mother's maiden name, to avoid confusion with other writers named David Friedman.[4] He is the youngest of three children. His family is of German Jewish and Russian Jewish descent.

He is an alumnus of The Collegiate School and a Dartmouth College alumnus. While at Dartmouth College, he was a member of Phi Delta Alpha Fraternity and the Sphinx Senior Society - the oldest all-male secret society in the United States. At age 22, he worked as a club bouncer and then became a high school English teacher at Poly Prep in Brooklyn, New York City. Additionally, he attended the University of California Irvine and Trinity College Dublin, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in the creative writing program.


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