David L. Werner, a popular local singer, comedian, and former member of the Capitol Steps, was found dead over the weekend at a hotel on the Eastern Shore, associates confirmed on Monday.
“I know that he’s passed away,” says Mark French, the head of the Leading Authorities speakers bureau, who had Werner as a client. “He was one of the finest people I’ve ever known. He will be sorely missed by his family here at Leading Authorities.”
We received an e-mail on Sunday from an individual who had booked Werner for an upcoming event: “Dave Werner from the Capitol Steps was found dead yesterday in a hotel on the Eastern Shore. Unknown cause of death.” A family spokesman said the location was a motel in Grasonville, Maryland, but there was no new information on why he was there or what happened.
Werner was 54 years old. “We’ve been working with him almost 20 years on an exclusive basis. It’s quite a personal tragedy,” French says.
We also spoke with the office of Werner’s sister, Susan Werner, who is also a singer and songwriter and has performed with her brother. Her office confirmed the death but gave no further details. The family spokesman said Werner, in addition to his sister, is survived by his wife, Kim, his parents, and four other siblings.
According to a bio from Leading Authorities, Werner joined the Capitol Steps in the 1980s when he was a Senate staffer. While with the popular group, “he performed in over 1,000 live shows and television and radio broadcasts,” the bio reads. He went solo in 1995. According to the bio, he “performed for trade associations and corporate meetings around the country, entertaining them with equal parts inside-the-Beltway political commentary and Iowa-bred humor.” According to Susan Werner’s website, the family is from Iowa.
Werner was a graduate of Yale Law School, according to the Sidney’s Music & Entertainment website. Sidney’s also booked him for events. Bob Dodelin, the agency’s president, said, “I’ve known David since I got to town in the late ’70s. He is the headliner and writer for the Gridiron Dinner, and has been for years, and appeared with his sister at the Barns at Wolf Trap, most recently in the last year or two. She was billed, and he participated.”
We will update this story as we get more information.