David Rakoff (November 27, 1964 – August 9, 2012) was an essayist, journalist, and actor. Originally from Canada, Rakoff was a graduate of Columbia University, he obtained dual Canadian-American citizenship in 2003, and resided for much of his life in New York City. His brother Simon is a stand-up comedian. Rakoff wrote for the New York Times Magazine, Outside, GQ, Vogue and Salon. He was a frequent contributor to the radio program This American Life on Public Radio International.
Rakoff's essays have been collected in the books Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable and are largely autobiographical and humorous. He was openly gay, and his writings have been compared to those of essayist and friend David Sedaris. Rakoff was even mistaken for Sedaris once while performing in a storefront window; both authors have written about this incident in their books.
Rakoff was featured in the This American Life episode 305, the holiday show on December 23, 2005, and episode 156, "What Remains", broadcast 21 March 2000. He was the only individual to host in place of Ira Glass a This American Life episode (Episode 248 - "Like It Or Not"). Rakoff made several appearances on the The Daily Show, and voiced the reading part of Thomas Jefferson for Jon Stewart's, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.
Rakoff's acting roles included the Off-Broadway comedy play, The Book of Liz, authored by friends David and Amy Sedaris, the film Strangers with Candy, also co-written by Amy Sedaris, and a cameo in the film Capote.