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Introduction
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Back to the farm
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The wild west
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The young flack
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The spark
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Off to the show

  About Hans
David Hans Schmidt, a so-called hyper-active lad / Ritalin experiment, was born first of twin boys in Rochester, Minnesota, an "arid and sanitized little community" as Garrison Keillor once said, on May 27, 1960, the same birth day as President Nixon's flack, Henry Kissinger, another great PR man. Father Fred E. Schmidt, an IBM top engineer, was an extremely driven man and soon moved his family out of Rochester to the rural farming area where he ultimately built one of the largest grain farming operations along with one of the premier land development companies in Olmstead County. Mother Darlene remains the anchor to the operation and is active in Republican party politics. Hans didn't blend in easily with the hard-core German-Lutheran family and a school system that pushed FFA (Future Farmers of America) more than academics and arts. He was often frustrated and spent many high-school days in the Principle's office for a variety of low-level mischief. Compounding matters, his father was always very strong in his beliefs, often times causing clashes in personality between father and son.
Hans was simply (or flagrantly) misunderstood in both his family and the community. But in his junior year of high-school, Hans watched a movie that changed his life forever: ROCKY. His Senior year, Hans won the Region 8 Golden Gloves Tournament and fought in the Upper Mid West Championship as a Fly Weight. Winning got in his blood and after he graduated from Dover-Eyota high school in 1978, he entered the U.S. Army and became a paratrooper in the elite 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Batallion 325th Infantry. In the service, Hans took up long distance running and ran in the 1980 Boston Marathon where he placed 11th for the 19 and under age group.

After an Honorable Discharge in 1981, Hans ran cross country, the 5,000 and 10,000 meters for Rochester College and then transferred to Augsburg College, a private Lutheran college in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he won a degree in Philosophy and English and ran track posting a 4:12 mile his Senior year. He got into modeling by accident and did some under wear and jeans ads in the mid 1980's. Yet it was at Augsburg College that Hans really got serious about academics. He would often hang out in the library reading dusty old books on Philosophy and with each page he would add a deposit to the bank of an aggressive and creative young mind. His passion was French Existentialism and the works of Camus and Sartre. He wrote a column called PARAMOUNT in the Augsburg Echo and would write any thing to cause controversy around the campus--an innate and natural talent that would ultimately become his vocation.

After graduating from Augsburg in 1985, Hans was headed for law school but pulled out citing the popular paper-chase-glut and went to Bowling Green State University in Ohio to study graduate Philosophy. But all Hans was interested in was writing his column for the BG NEWS and chasing the multiple coeds around the campus. Hans wrote a column once depicting the best looking sorority house but also cited the ugliest sorority house and caught a lot of hell for doing it. The net result though was endless dates with the girls from Alpha Zeta Delta, over 150 of the best looking girls on campus. He got no dates, however, with the ugly sorority house. But Bowling Green became a bore real fast and Hans resigned from the Master's Program. He was happy to leave grad school but not as happy as the department of Philosophy was and, of course, the ugly girls.

25 years old, educated and broke, Hans went back to the lucrative family business but father Fred said "It's my way or the highway." So the young enterprising Hans took the latter offer and hitched a ride Westward with a bankrupt farmer all the way to Phoenix, Arizona.

In the mid '80's, Phoenix was a rapidly growing town and had growing pains in it's state politics. Hans finally landed a job as a reporter for The Arizona Republic covering business and politics. It was there where he got his first introduction to public relations people. He quickly figured if these bimbos can do it, he can do it better. And he did. In 1987, embattled Arizona Governor Evan Mecham was on the verge of impeachment when Hans got the nod to become Mecham's 3rd and final press secretary. After making a slew of connections in the international press corps, Hans launched his own public relations company in 1987.

Hans built his company up fast. He pursued and got clients like accounting giant Ernst & Young, various prominent law firms, and did some lobbying and political PR as well. But his time with Governor Mecham taught him one important thing: that scandal and controversy are king in the news media. Indeed, the path started in college and would unfold into a grand profession.

One night in late January of 1992 Hans stopped to pick up some groceries on his way home from the office and his life changed with the birth of an opportunity and led to his carving out a special niche' in the publishing industry. He grabbed a STAR Magazine in the check out line and read all about the 12 Year Affair With Gennifer Flowers and Bill Clinton. Hans got goose bumps up and down his arms because he thought: "Hey, if the STAR paid Flowers $125 K to give a kiss and tell story about her affair, I'll bet Playboy or Penthouse would pay her a million to go nude!" Ergo, the very next day Hans tracked down Flowers in Little Rock through her attorney and met with her secretly in Dallas, Texas a few days later where she was hiding from the news media. Thus, it was at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas that Gennifer Flowers entered into an Exclusive Agency Representation Agreement with Hans on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1992 to pursue a pictorial with the men's major magazines.

Hans no more than got back to his office in Phoenix when he got a call from Flower's attorney back in Little Rock informing him that Playboy Enterprises Incorporated in Chicago sent a formal overture to his office inquiring about Flower's possible interest in posing for Playboy. Of course, the letter was faxed to Hans and the duly contractual "agent" got on a jet 1st Class for Chicago to press palms with the brass at the legendary headquarters of the most powerful men's magazine in history. Within days, he would fly to NYC as well seeking a counter offer from the number 2 most powerful men's magazine in the industry, Penthouse, and in December of 1992 his first Cover issue came to fruition on the Flower's deal. Over the years, Hans quietly and not so quietly carved out a niche and became the greatest independent celebrity broker in the history of both Playboy and Penthouse, dancing between the great Guccione, Hefner and Flynt and an array of notorious coups procuring such deals as: KATARINA WITT, PAULA JONES, TONYA HARDING, SHARI BELAFONTE, SUZEN JOHNSON, DIVINE BROWN, TIFFANY DARWISH, DARVA CONGER and many more. In each deal Hans initiated, negotiated, and consummated each contract often writing the language of the Agreements himself exploring new revenue streams and ways to make money.

The Tonya Harding/Jeff Gillooly Wedding Night Video Tape that Hans sold to Penthouse in 1994 remains the largest selling video in the history of Penthouse and one of the all time best adult selling videos ever. In his first television production in 1998, consulting producer Hans was nominated for an Emmy for a Documentary with executive producer David Kreiff for FOX Broadcasting's Lillehammer Revisted: Breaking The Ice, which paired Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan together.

Amid his climb, the determined and hard-driven Hans amassed a vast plethora of invaluable contacts in the international press corps stemming from the high and mighty tabloid press to the mainstream news media world-wide. He has traveled around the world brokering news media stories for his clients. There are, of course, countless news articles about Hans compiled from over the years. Hans is now rebuilding his life after a long and protracted custody battle. He still resides in Phoenix and works hard to support his two darling daughters Kelsey and Kassidy, who are the greatest blessings in his life. >> Top
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