David Zabel was a TV producer and writer best known for his long stint as an executive producer and showrunner for "ER" (NBC 1994-2009) and the thought-provoking episodes he wrote for it. Zabel was born on April 1, 1966 in New York City. Growing up in Manhattan, he became interested in theater. He attended Princeton University in 1984, where he studied English literature and drama, originally intending to become a poet. He then attended graduate school for theater at New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts. He went on to direct television episodes and act in a variety of TV shows before he was hired as a story editor for James Cameron's science fiction TV show "Dark Angel" (Fox 2000-02). He joined the medical drama "ER" in 2001, serving as Executive Story Editor and later as Executive Producer and Showrunner. For an "ER" episode he co-wrote about the crisis in Darfur, he was awarded a Humanitas prize, an award that goes to humanitarian-minded television. After "ER" ended, Zabel became a showrunner on the drama "Betrayal" (ABC 2013-14), which was cancelled after one season. In 2015, he signed on to write a Civil War drama for ABC, executive produced by Ridley Scott.