David Benioff

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David Benioff
David Benioff by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Benioff in 2013.
Born David Friedman
(1970-09-25) September 25, 1970 (age 51)
New York City, New York
Alma mater Dartmouth College
The Collegiate School
Trinity College Dublin
University of California, Irvine
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, television producer
Spouse(s) Amanda Peet (m. 2006)
Children 3
Parent(s) Stephen Friedman

David Benioff (born David Friedman; September 25, 1970) is an American novelist, screenwriter and television producer. He is the co-creator and showrunner of the widely acclaimed award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones.

Early life

Benioff was born David Friedman in New York City, to 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.[citation needed]

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. 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.

Writing career

While working as a high school English teacher, he wrote the book The 25th Hour, and later adapted it into a screenplay, which was filmed starring Edward Norton and directed by Spike Lee.[1] He then wrote a collection of short stories titled When the Nines Roll Over (And Other Stories) in 2004.

Benioff drafted a screenplay of the mythological epic Troy (2004) for which Warner Bros pictures paid him $2.5 million.[citation needed] He also wrote the script for the psychological thriller Stay (2005), which was directed by Marc Forster and starred Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. His screenplay for The Kite Runner (2007), adapted from the novel of the same name, marked his second collaboration with director Marc Forster. He was hired in 2004 to write the screenplay for the X-Men spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and worked on the script for three years.

In 2008, his second novel, City of Thieves was published. He has been[when?] working on an adapted screenplay of the Charles R. Cross biography of Kurt Cobain but as of 2010 the screenplay has not been used.[5] He is also working with D.B. Weiss as executive producer, showrunner and writer on Game of Thrones, HBO's adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin.

On April 10, 2014, Benioff announced he and D.B. Weiss had taken on their first feature film project to write, produce and direct Dirty White Boys, a novel by Pulitzer prize-winning[6] author Stephen Hunter.[7]

Personal life

On September 30, 2006, Benioff married actress Amanda Peet in New York City.[8] Their first child, daughter Frances Pen, was born in 2007.[9] Their second child, daughter Molly June, was born in 2010.[10] In 2014, the couple welcomed another child, a son named Henry.[11]


The 25th Hour

When the Nines Roll Over (and Other Stories)

City of Thieves


In development


  1. 1.0 1.1 Debra Kamin, "The Jewish legacy behind ‘Game of Thrones’," The Times of Israel, May 20, 2014.
  2. "Deaths Benioff, Florence," New York Times, August 28, 2000.
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-these-famous-benioffs-are-related-2015-4
  4. William Alden, "Former Goldman Chief Walks Among Warriors and Dragons," DealBook, March 19, 2014.
  5. http://www.mtv.com/news/1635411/kurt-cobain-biopic-in-the-works-16-years-after-his-death/
  6. "The 2003 Pulitzer Prize Winners (Criticism)". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved 24 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/game-of-thrones-david-benioff-d-b-weiss-plan-dirty-white-boys-as-first-feature
  8. Messer, Lesley (2006-09-30). "Amanda Peet Weds Screenwriter Beau - Marriage, Amanda Peet". People.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Amanda Peet Has a Girl - Birth, Amanda Peet". People.com. 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2011-04-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Jordan, Julie. "Amanda Peet Welcomes a Baby Girl - Babies, Amanda Peet". People.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Amanda Peet, 'Game of Thrones' producer David Benioff welcome baby boy". Los Angeles Times. December 23, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links