Ira Glass is the host and producer of the public radio program This American Life. The program premiered in Chicago on November 17, 1995, and went into full national distribution through Public Radio International in June of 1997. It is now heard on more than 555 public radio stations each week by over 1.8 million listeners. Most weeks, the podcast of the program is the most popular podcast in America, introducing new listeners to one of public radio's most popular and creative forces.
Ira Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's network headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1978, when he was 19 years old. Over the years, he worked on nearly every NPR network news program and held virtually every production job in NPR's Washington headquarters. He has been a tape cutter, newscast writer, desk assistant, editor and producer. He has filled in as host of Talk of the Nation and Weekend All Things Considered.
Under Glass's editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including the Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards, as well as the Edward R. Murrow and the Overseas Press Club awards. The "American Journalism Review" declared that the show is "at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution." It has won critical acclaim and attracted continuous national media attention over the years. In 2001, "Time" magazine named Glass Best Radio Host in America.
Glass's creative talents reach beyond public media. In 2007 Riverhead published "The New Kings of Non-Fiction," a collection of narrative nonfiction essays chosen by Ira Glass. A feature film, "Unaccompanied Minors," based on a story from the radio show was released by Warner Brothers in December 2006. Several other film adaptations of radio stories are in development. From 2007- 2008, a television adaptation of This American Life aired on Showtime, garnering critical acclaim and three Emmy awards.
Built around the innovative personal vision of host Ira Glass, This American Life, quite literally, pioneered a new kind of radio storytelling. The weekly program explores a theme — fiascos, conventions, the job that takes over your life — through a playful mix of radio monologues, mini-documentaries, "found tape," short fiction and unusual music.