A native of New York City, Henry D. Spalding began his career in journalism as a reporter for the New York Mirror and the Journal. While a member of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he was an accredited White House correspondent. In the 1950s Spalding moved to Los Angeles, where he was active as editor and publisher of Deejay, Disc, and Top Ten--all music magazines--as well as Talent News, a show-business trade journal.
Mr. Spalding's Encyclopedia of Jewish Humor was issued in 1969 and has since gone through many editions. This was followed by Encyclopedia of Black Folklore and Humor and Joys of Italian Humor, all of which established him as one of the leading experts on ethnic humor.