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David Kessler Edit Profile

David Kessler, American Nursing administrator. Recipient Outstanding Contribution in Nursing, City of Los Angeles, Achievement in Nursing Leadership, Association Nursing In Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Distinguished award, Being Alive People with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Coalition. M C.


Kessler was born in Rhode Island. His mother died in 1973, an event that influenced his later work greatly.


Licensed Vocational Nursing, Santa Monica (California) College, 1982. AS, State University of New York, New York City, 1984.


He has published many books, including two co-written with famed psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-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. He did his undergraduate work at USC and graduate work at Loyola Marymount University in Bioethics.

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. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D was a psychiatrist and the author of the groundbreaking On Death and Dying. She has earned a place in history as one of the world's foremost authorities on the psychology of dying, and is credited with changing attitudes towards the terminally ill.

In 1995 she suffered a series of major strokes, which left her paralyzed and facing her own death. It was during this time that she and David Kessler wrote their first book together, “Life Lessons: two experts on death and dying teach us about the mysteries of life and living.”Elisabeth Kübler-Ross died on August 24, 2004. Elisabeth’s last book, co-written with David Kessler, “On Grief and Grieving” was completed one month before her death.

“On Grief and Grieving,” is her final legacy, one that brings her life’s work profoundly full circle. David Kessler worked closely with Elisabeth for ten years and was with her as she was dying. He feels it is part of his mission to keep her work alive for the next generation.