of the Choosen
Wendy Solomon, Morning Call
one of the rare times when Dave Zinczenko is not wearing a well-cut
Gucci or Prada or one of the other designer suits that
hang in his Allentown pied-à-terre and his loft apartment
in New York’s West Village.
as it should be. It’s Africa-hot on this day,
and the Men’s Health editor-in chief and vice
president is standing in the middle of a cornfield in Maxatawny
County, hobnobbing at the Rodale Company picnic.
hard to believe Zinczenko used to wolf down an entire box of
Crunch cereal in one sitting—without milk.
Today he’s the picture of men’s health—a
fitting and not coincidental image for the man who heads Men’s
Health, the largest publication of its type in the world.
is a Lehigh Valley boy who has seen his share of media glare,
as both subject and author. But it’s the dubious distinction
of being named last week as one of People magazine’s
top 50 bachelors that’s getting him a round of attention,
fueled by his publicist, who’s been pitching him for
the designation for years.
sweaty afternoon, the bachelor in the limelight has just consumed
an all-American lunch
of a cheeseburger and
of chili under
an unrelenting sun—but it’s an indulgence he
in blue jeans (Hugo Boss), a steel-gray body-hugging cotton/polyester-blend
an old pair of Nike running
sneakers and even older white crew socks, Zinczenko is
a fit, boyish-looking 32.
he and his fellow People bachelors have in common are
good looks, a certain degree of
and an aggressive
handler pitching for them—although Ben Affleck
shares Page 115 of the magazine with John Miller, the 44-year-old 20/20 anchor,
and Hall-of-Fame ladies’ man Cary
Grant. Not bad real estate.
how has the exposure affected this single man’s life?
don’t think it’s changed me, “ he demurs.
there was the morning after the magazine came out. He stepped
onto the 15th floor of his Manhattan office
building and was greeted by dozens of gorgeous models in cocktail
a rose and placards saying “I speak Italian” and
other credentials to try to snag a date. His
staffers, the same ones
who kid him with “Hey, sexy,” are
still laughing over the stunt.
seems hard to believe Zinczenko can’t get a date.
He can. He’s not lonely; he’s just
wish I were living the life everyone thinks I’m living,” he
says with a laugh.
divides his time between the magazine’s offices
at the Rodale complex in Emmaus and New
York, with occasional trips to Milan and Paris, where Men’s
Health has established offices for its Italian and French
editions. He also makes occasional appearances
on CBS’ The Early Show,
which helps give Men’s Health brand-name
professional life has been spent at
the magazine, which he joined in 1993 after
a two-year stint at Men’s
it hasn’t always
been a charmed life for the achiever,
who grew up in Allentown and Bethlehem.
He and his older brother, Eric, were
raised by their mother, Janice Sobieski,
father left her when the children were
small. Money was tight, and Sobieski
worked two jobs to support her sons
and help pay for
their college educations. Sobieski
says her son is ambitious and compassionate,
the result of seeing the hardships
his mother endured.
really think he does have that extra-special sensitivity because
he knows what I’ve been through,” Sobieski
Zinczenko graduated from Liberty High School in 1987,
boys occasionally saw their father, Bohdan, a photographer
strained. During Zinczenko’s
senior year in college, his
father was convicted in a case
kickbacks to a Whitehall Township
dismisses the incident and says it had
no impact on
and “seeing him winded
at the top of the steps” that
influenced him. His father
died at the relatively young
age of 52 in 1999 from diabetic
and heart complications associated
“Our dad and what happened was a very big motivation for us to stay
in shape,” says Eric
Zinczenko, 34, advertising
director for Outside magazine.
committed himself to get fit ever since he graduated from college
and has been
working with these magazines. He’s
come a long way.”
shed 45 pounds and
now carries a trim
or five times
week or lifts weights
and rides a stationary
Rodale gym in Emmaus
or the Equinox gym
in New York. “I
love to work out,” he
despite the buff body he worked
memories of his adolescence
I look in the mirror, I still see a fat teenager,” he
was always focused and driven,
say those who
in New York City
looking for a
magazine job, with his mother
for moral support.
took an offer from Men’s Journal, which was
in its infancy in 1991, then
left two years later when he was wooed by Men’s
become an associate
30, he was
in Allentown, says
but has not
really changed him.
hectic life, Zinczenko
time to have dinner
thing I do find really admirable is that he’s still friends
woman he’s ever dated,” Anthony says.
who dated Zinczenko
a teacher. “He
to say, ‘I
this,’ ” says
This article and its accompanying photograph ran on July 1, 2002,
in the Allentown Morning Call. Reprinted with permission.
Introductory text by Judith Green.