David Kessler's Headshot

David Kessler

- Panelist Blurb

David Kessler (Born February 16, 1959) is an author, public speaker, and death and grieving expert. He has published many books, including two co-written with famed psychiatrist Elisabeth Kabler-Ross: Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach us about the Mysteries of Life and Living & On Grief & Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Grief. His first book, The Needs of the Dying is now in a tenth anniversary edition and received praise from Mother Teresa and Marianne Williamson.

Kessler was born in Rhode Island. He did his undergraduate work at USC and graduate work at Loyola Marymount University in Bioethics. His mother died in 1973, an event that influenced his later work greatly. Now as a modern day thanatologist he follows death wherever it may occur. Therefore his work is a hybrid of several occupations including: working with the dying in hospitals and hospice, volunteering as a reserve officer on the police trauma team and participating with the Red Cross on aviation disasters as well as its disaster team.

Kessler concentrates in hospice, palliative care, grief and loss. His latest work includes interviews about afterlife, near death studies and near death awareness. He also is chairperson for the Hospital Association of Southern California Palliative Care Committee.[His experiences have taken him from Auschwitz concentration camp to Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying Destitute in Calcutta. He also worked with Anthony Perkins, Michael Landon and industrialist Armand Hammer when they faced their own deaths.