Ira Glass


Ira Glass was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 3rd, 1959. He is the son of radio announcer/accountant Barry Glass and psychologist/infidelity researcher Shirley Glass. Noted composer Philip Glass is his first cousin, once removed.

He attended Northwestern University but eventually become sick of what he perceived as the attitude of most of the students; He didn’t like the fact that the people there seemed to only care about getting out of college and making money. To him, making a lot of money was not what was most important. Soon, Glass transferred to Brown University where he majored in semiotics. Glass went on to work in public radio for over 20 years.

When he was in high school he wrote jokes for Baltimore radio personality Johnny Walker. He started out his career as an intern at National Public Radio. He was a reporter and host on several NPR programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Glass wrote, “The very first national public radio show that I worked on was Joe Frank’s. I think I was influenced in a huge way… Before I saw Joe put together a show, I had never thought about radio as a place where you could tell a certain kind of story.”

Ira Glass is most well known as the host and producer of the hit radio show This American Life, a show that he has been a part of for 12 years since its debut episode on November 17th, 1995. The show has reached an estimated 1.7 million listeners weekly. WBEZ-FM received a Peabody award in 1996 for TAL, a show which “captures contemporary culture in fresh and inventive ways that mirror the diversity and eccentricities of its subjects” and “weaves original monologues, mini-dramas, original fiction, traditional radio documentaries and original radio dramas into an instructional and entertaining tapestry.”

He married Chicago editor Anaheed Alani in August 2005 and is currently working on a series based on This American Life for the Showtime network, which is set to air March 22nd, 2007.

Ira Glass:

I just find I don’t believe in God. It just doesn’t seem to be true, and no amount of thinking about it seems to make it true. It seems inherently untrue. And the thing that’s hard about honing that position is, as a reporter, I’ve seen many times how a belief in God has transformed somebody’s life. In all the ways I feel like you can witness God’s work here on earth, I feel like I’ve seen that. I’ve met a lot of people — it’s been the thing that’s changed them, that’s sustained them in a way that I wish I could believe. But I simply find I don’t and I don’t feel like it’s something I have a choice about. I could pretend I believe a God exists, but the world seems explainable to me without it.

Comments (One comment)

say no to christ / February 27th, 2007, 1:23 pm / #1

Thanks Sean

Its always refreshing to hear about public atheists who are completely out of the closet.I'm going to try to tune into his show.

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