Dave Seminara is an award-winning freelance journalist and former diplomat based in Chicago. He has written on topics as varied as a 643-shot tennis rally, super-centenarians, maligned athletes like Mario Mendoza and , Vinko Bogataj the impact of social media in recruiting high school athletes, the legacy of the infamous “shoe fight ” at Madison Square Garden, why the Doobie Brothers and Chicago are still touring, doomed Cubs fans , green card marriage fraud and more.
Dave was born in Buffalo and grew up listening to shortwave radio and rooting for doomed sports teams. His grandfather, Leonardo Riforgiato, operated a newsstand in downtown Buffalo from 1914-1955 and Dave inherited his love of newspapers.
As the youngest of six boys in a family of raconteurs, Dave learned early on that if you wanted to be heard, you had to have a good story. In the eighth grade, he created a diplomatic incident with Malta, after a photo of him representing the country as a Muammar Gaddafi look-alike in a model U.N. was published in The Buffalo News. After the fiasco, the State Department sent him a letter with an unlikely bit of advice: consider a career in diplomacy.
In his twenties, Dave tried to satisfy his wanderlust with several major overland trips, including one from Portugal to Turkey, and another from Cairo to Shanghai. After creating a few international incidents in places like Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Xinjiang, he fulfilled a long held ambition to join the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as a diplomat at American embassies in Macedonia, Trinidad and Hungary, and in the Bureau of Central African Affairs, never once having to invoke diplomatic immunity to get out of jail.
After nearly six years in the Foreign Service, Dave’s wife, Jen, became pregnant with the couple’s first child and he realized that he missed looking at box scores in the morning newspaper and wanted his children to grow up with little league, peanut butter and all the other benefits of an American childhood.
Seminara is also passionate about photography and has photo credits in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tennis, and The Fairfax Times amongst others. In 2003, Dave won a Maine Workshops photography course in Oaxaca, Mexico by placing 2nd in National Geographic Traveler magazine’s annual photo contest.
In 2010, a story he wrote on the boycotted 1974 Davis Cup for The New York Times won a second place prize in the annual U.S. Tennis Writers’ Association Writing Contest, and in 2011, a feature he wrote on the oldest and youngest Davis Cup competitors for tennis.com won a first place prize in the same competition. Dave lives in Chicago with his wife, Jen, and their two sons, Leo, 5, and James, 3.