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Ira Glass
Ira Glass

Ira Glass

This American Life

Chicago, IL USA

"You can criticize yourself to a point to do something better, or you criticize yourself to a point where you inhibit yourself."

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Ira's work combines: Journalism, Radio, and Communicating / Sharing Stories

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Day In The Life


I co-created and host the public radio show "This American Life".

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis

    Brown University

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Grew up in an area where smart kids were expected to become doctors, but he always had an interest in media.

  • 2.

    Took two summer jobs, one at a hospital, one at NPR: "At the end of that summer, it was seemed very clear which one was more appealing."

  • 3.

    Says the best thing to do is force yourself into doing the work, and the skills will eventually come; believes hard work can make a person talented.

  • 4.

    He was bad at his job for a long time; says, "even the stuff you're really good at, you're not good at right away."

  • 5.

    Started producing shows at age 19; says early tapes show he had "no talent at all" for reporting, but he was good at editing.

  • 6.

    His parents hated the choices he was making; they'd worked hard to get into the middle class, constantly worried he wouldn't "succeed."

  • 7.

    Says the least pleasant part of his job is actually being on the radio: "all you can do is screw it up...there are so many ways to ruin it."

  • 8.

    Believes he will wake up with doubt and worry every day, but he's made peace with that, uses feelings of inadequacy to motivate him.