Exotic Dancer Publications Founder Don Waitt Passes Away

LOS ANGELES—Don Waitt, the founder of Exotic Dancer Publications, passed away peacefully on March 28 at his home in Florida, his family and the staff at ED Publications announced Tuesday.

He was 67.

ED Publications remembered Waitt with the following tribute:

The native of Fort Worth, Texas, grew up in an Air Force family with his siblings Deborah, Deirdre, Damon and Desireé. They lived all over the United States as well as in Japan and Panama before settling in Bossier City, LA, where he graduated from Jesuit High School and then Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

There he met the love of his life and worked as a reporter at The Shreveport Times, taking classes in journalism while already having bylines in the newspaper. His outlaw spirit led him to crime reporting in Louisiana and California where he profiled biker gangs and bank robbers and won awards from the Associated Press and the Gannett News Service.

Shortly after his son was born, following a love of rock n’ roll, they moved to Dallas, where he became publisher of Performance, the leading magazine for the touring concert industry. While there, he started what would become his legacy beginning with the Exotic Dancer Directory in 1991.

The Directory developed into ED Publications and a Gentleman’s Club Expo that went from an event to an industry institution for over three decades. He helped to establish ACE, the Association of Club Executives, and was the acting president. Don not only founded a trade association for an entire industry, but was a beloved and respected figure within it.

Don moved his family to Florida and raised his children there, loving the water the trees and the sun. Always searching for adventure and a new story to tell, he traveled the world and made friends everywhere he went. He wrote three books: Leaving Early, The Revelation of Chester Fortunberry and Sucks to be You.

In 2022, Don transitioned into the role of "Founder" at ED Publications. At Expo 2023 in Las Vegas, Don was inducted into the ED Hall of Fame, an honor that was long deserved.

Beyond his many accomplishments, his greatest role and joy was as a husband, father and grandfather. The best there ever was.

Don is survived by his wife, Debbie, a son and daughter and two grandchildren.

ED Publications encourages those who knew him to visit his memorial page here and sign the online guest book.