David Berger was born in Cleveland, Ohio in the United States and graduated from Columbia University, where he earned degrees in law, economics and psychology and was a lawyer by trade.
Berger began playing sports at an early age and was the United States Youth Champion in weight lifting (NCAA 148-pound class). He participated in the Maccabiah Games in 1969 and then immigrated to Israel, joining Maccabi Tel Aviv. Berger won the Israel weightlifting championship (-82.5 kg) and placed second in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in 1971. He fulfilled his lifelong goal of representing Israel at the Olympics and was about to get married and build a home in the Holy Land. David Berger was 28 years old at the time of his death and left behind his parents, a brother and a sister. At the request of his family he is buried in his hometown of Cleveland.