David Leser is an Australian author, feature writer and public interviewer. He was born in Montreal, Canada and grew up in Sydney.

In his 40 year-career as a journalist David has been a Middle East & Washington D.C correspondent, as well as feature writer in Australia for the Murdoch, Packer & Fairfax organisations. He has covered murder trials, demonstrations, uprisings, war zones and peace conferences in America, the Middle East, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

More recently he has become widely known for his intimate, psychological portraits of some of the more remarkable personalities of our times. David is a multiple award-winning journalist who has worked as a staff feature writer for the Daily Telegraph, the Australian, HQ magazine, the Bulletin, the Sydney Morning Herald and Good Weekend.

Between 2000 and 2012 he was writer-at-large for the Australian Women’s Weekly, the country’s most widely-read magazine, as well as Asia-Pacific writer for Italian and German Vanity Fair, and more recently the Daily Beast website in America.

David is the author of seven books, including A View From the Lake: The Egon Zehnder Story published by Random House in June 2014, and his memoir To Begin To Know, published by Allen & Unwin in June 2014 and shortlisted for the 2015 National Biography Award. In August 2019 Allen & Unwin published his new book Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing – a study of patriarchy and toxic masculinity in the age of #MeToo.

In addition to his writing he has been a public interviewer at the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Newcastle and Auckland Writers Festivals and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, Queensland University, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, Southern Cross University and Newcastle University. He is a Doctor of Creative Arts from UTS.

He was also executive producer of the award-winning documentary on the life and musical career of Paul Kelly, Australia’s pre-eminent songwriter, as well as editor of Paul Kelly: The Essays. To contact David please email


  • Andrew Denton television & radio personality
  • Blanche d'Alpuget author
  • David Marr author, journalist and broadcaster
  • Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish Palestinian Doctor and Author
  • Geoffrey Robertson human rights lawyer
  • Glen Carle Former CIA agent
  • Helen Garner writer
  • Irina Baronova former Ballet Russe dancer
  • Jennifer Byrne journalist/broadcaster
  • John Marsden author
  • Malcolm Fraser former Prime Minister
  • Margaret Fink film producer
  • Michael Leunig cartoonist
  • Norma Khouri author
  • Paul Kelly Australia's leading singer/songwriter
  • Rob Hirst musician & author
  • Stephanie Dowrick psychotherapist & author


  • A.D. Hope poet
  • Alan Jones radio broadcaster
  • Andrew Denton multi-media personality
  • Anjelica Huston actor
  • Anna Murdoch former wife of Rupert Murdoch
  • Asher Keddie actor
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali Somali-Dutch author and politician
  • Barbara Blackman writer
  • Cassandra Pybus author
  • Collette Dinnigan couturier
  • Dame Edna Everage pantomime dame
  • Dame Elisabeth Murdoch philanthropist & mother of Rupert
  • Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish Palestinian doctor/author
  • Fiona Wood surgeon
  • Fran Peavey founder of Heart Politics
  • Giorgio Armani designer
  • Helen Clark New Zealand Prime Minister
  • Helen Garner writer
  • Ian Gawler counsellor
  • Irina Baronova former Ballet Russe dancer
  • Janet Holmes a Court businesswoman
  • John Howard Australian prime minister
  • Judy Cassab artist
  • June Newton photographer-painter
  • Kim Beazley former A.L.P. leader
  • Malika Oufkir former Moroccan prisoner
  • Margaret Fink film producer
  • Margaret Olley artist
  • Margaret Whitlam former First Lady
  • Mark Carnegie Businessman
  • Mary Fairfax dowager
  • McCartney Sisters Irish activists
  • Michael Gudinski record company boss
  • Neil Finn singer-songwriter
  • Oriana Fallaci Italian author-journalist
  • Paul Hogan actor
  • Paul Kelly singer-songwriter
  • Pauline Hanson politician
  • Peter Garrett singer-politician
  • Petrea King counsellor
  • Richard Carleton television journalist
  • Richard Wherett theatre director
  • Robyn Nevin actor/theatre director
  • Roger Woodward pianist
  • Russell Crowe actor
  • Susan Sarandon actor
  • the Dalai Lama Tibetan spiritual leader
  • Tim Finn singer-songwriter
  • Tina Brown author/editor
  • Xena, the Warrior Princess actor


  • 2015 National Biography Award Shortlist - To Begin To Know: Walking in the Shadows of my Father
  • 2012 Northern NSW Journalism Awards Finalist Best Feature/Best Investigtion: Coal Seam Gas
  • 2010 NSW PRODI - Best Feature Story: Peter Garrett ("Peter and the Wolves")
  • 2008 United Nations Association of Australia Special Commendation for "Children Overboard"
  • 2003 Winner Magazine Publisher's Association Story of the Year "Children Behind the Wire."
  • 1999 Winner Walkley Award Feature Writing: "Who's Afraid of Alan Jones."
  • 1997 / 98 / 2000 Three Times Walkley Award National Finalist: (Feature Writing, Sport and International Relations)
  • 1998 Winner Australian Society of Magazine Editors Feature Writing: "Inside the Mind of Pauline Hanson."
  • 1998 Winner Australian Society of Magazine Editors Reporting: "When a Child Kills."
  • 1998 Austcare: Winner All Media Category
  • 1998 Human Rights Special Commendation