David Pogue grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. A music and theatre geek from day one, he starred in, composed, played piano for, or conducted musicals and choirs from elementary school through high school. He was also a language jock, winning the Ohio Spelling Bee in 1977, and a magician, performing over 400 magic shows during his teenage years.
He studied music, English, and computer science at Yale, graduating summa cum laude in 1985 with distinction in music.
After college, Pogue moved to New York City, aspiring to compose Broadway shows. For ten years, he worked as a conductor, synthesizer programmer, arranger, or assistant on several Broadway shows (“Carrie,” “Welcome to the Club,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” and “Anything Goes at Lincoln Center”) and a few Off-Broadway ones (“Pajama Game,” “Godspell,” and “Flora the Red Menace,” which he also orchestrated).
In the interest of hedging his bets, he also founded and taught for several years the beginning magic courses at the New School for Social Research and New York's Learning Annex. He also co-designed and wrote the manuals for music software programs like Finale, from Coda Music Technology.
Unfortunately, the demand for new young composers on Broadway is next to null these days and Pogue saw the writing on the wall. All of a sudden, his computer-teaching skills were turning out to be more in demand than his musical ones. So he started teaching the Broadway community how to use their computers—first composers such as Stephen Sondheim, John Kander, Jerry Bock, David Shire, and Cy Coleman, and then later Hollywood and literary celebrities such as Mia Farrow, Gary Oldman, Natasha Richardson, and Harry Connick Jr.
He began writing for Macworld magazine in 1988. His triple-award-winning column "The Desktop Critic" appeared on the back page until November 2000, when he joined The New York Times.
In 1992, IDG Books asked Pogue to write Macs for Dummies. The book became the #1 best-selling Macintosh book in all of its 17 languages and six editions.
Pogue wound up becoming a prolific author, writing or co-writing seven books in the For Dummies series, including Opera, Classical Music, and Magic; six editions of the 1,300-page
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￼bestseller Macworld Mac Secrets, which he co-authored with former Yale roommate Joe Schorr; and a novel, Hard Drive, a New York Times “notable book of the year.” In 1998, his PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide became the #1 best-selling Palm book.
In 2000, Pogue created the Missing Manual series: a line of superbly written, printed manuals for computer products that don't come with any—in other words, "the book that should have been in the box.” The series, published in collaboration with O'Reilly & Associates, now includes over 100 titles, includes bestsellers on topics like Mac OS X, the iPhone, Windows 7, Dreamweaver, iMovie, iPhoto, Microsoft Office, and others. He sold the series to O'Reilly in 2004 but still writes the Missing Manual titles on Windows, Mac OS X, and the iPhone.
In November 2000, Pogue became the personal technology columnist for The New York Times. His Times column, “State of the Art,” appears every Thursday on the front page of the Business section. Soon thereafter, he began writing his daily Times blog, “Pogue's Posts”; authoring a weekly e-mail Times newsletter, “From the Desk of David Pogue”; and shooting his Webby Award-winning, very silly Times web videos, which aired on CNBC from 2007 until 2011.
Pogue appears frequently on radio and TV. For several years, he was a regular technology guest on Martha Stewart's TV show, NPR's “Morning Edition,” and CNBC's Power Lunch and On the Money.
Today, he has moved on to Yahoo, helping them oversee and expand their consumer technology coverage. The position at Yahoo further catapults Pogue as one of the preeminent speakers on today’s latest technology advances. He also writes and hosts about six segments a year for CBS News Sunday Morning (work that won him an Emmy in 2004). But he may be best known these days for his work on NOVA, the long-running PBS science show. He was the host of NOVA ScienceNow in 2012 and his Making Stuff series, a 2011 four-part miniseries, won NOVA its highest ratings in six years—ratings that were surpassed only by Pogue's second Nova show, Hunting the Elements, in 2012.