David Bear Alter was born in New York City in 1924 and at age three or four his parents moved to a tiny upstate New York hamlet named East Nassau along the Vermont and Massachusetts borders. The village, about 75 strong, was among the Colonial Dutch land holdings settled during the early 1700s by Killian van Rensselaer. His home was among the earliest in Rensselaer County. East Nassau is one of many New England hollows along Massachusetts, Vermont and New York State lines. On his 18th birthday in 1942, David dropped out of high school to enlist in the Marine Corps and saw action during the invasion of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Discharged in 1945, he completed high school and earned a degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia. During his college days he free lanced historical stories, several on covered bridges and then began a newspaper reporting career that spanned 11 years, progressing from a small daily in Pontiac, Ill., to newspapers in Davenport, Iowa and Shreveport, Louisiana, where he met his wife and current writing partner. He moved on to newspapers in El Paso, Cincinnati, and Chicago. His police investigative stories appeared in detective magazines of the '50s and he is the recipient of the Pall Mall Award for investigative reporting that freed a man wrongly accused and imprisoned for an armed robbery he didn't commit. He has authored historical articles for Colorado publications. Alter was lured from the Chicago Tribune in the 1960s by a west coast aerospace firm to write on the Atlas ICBM and moved on as a writer for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs at NASA's Johnson Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. He authored the award winning Apollo News Reference Book commissioned by Rockwell International, builder of the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon. The News Reference Book was the news media's encyclopedia of lunar space flight. David and Lynette are parents of a son, Paul, and a daughter, Deborah. An ardent critic of today's medical practitioners and hospitals, his sharp observations are pinpointed in Intrepeditions and Funny Business. A researcher, he has often found fault with practitioners and hospitals, he says, "are too much enamored with their fees and less with their patients."