March 4, 2004

It’s Ira Glass’ birthday!

It’s the birthday of the host of the radio show This American Life, Ira Glass, born in Baltimore, Maryland (1959). After his freshman year of college he was looking for a summer job in television or advertising, and someone suggested that he try to be an intern for National Public Radio. He had never even listened to public radio at the time, but he applied for the job and got it, and he’s been working in public radio ever since. He started out as a tape cutter, and then he was a desk assistant, a newscast writer, an editor, a producer, a reporter and a substitute host.

In 1989, he moved to Chicago and produced documentaries for the local public radio station. He and a friend started a live show called The Wild Room that included music, stories, and commentary, and outtakes from his own documentaries. In 1995, he came up with the idea for a show called “Your Radio Playhouse” that would tell a series of stories each week, centered on a certain aspect of everyday life in America. That show became This American Life, which has become one of the most popular radio programs in the country. There have been shows on superpowers, babysitting, Frank Sinatra, guns, and monogamy, among many other themes.

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