Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program "This American Life." The show premiered on Chicago's public radio station WBEZ in 1995 and is now heard on more than 500 public radio stations each week by over 1.7 million listeners. Most weeks, the podcast of the program is the most popular podcast in America. The show also airs each week on the CBC in Canada and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio network.
Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's network headquarters in Washington, DC 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 several Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards. The American Journalism Review declared that the show is "at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution."
A television adaptation of "This American Life" ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, in 2007 and 2008, winning three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The show has put out its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, DVDs of live shows and other events, a "radio decoder" toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. Half a dozen stories are in development to become feature films. In 2012 he produced and co-wrote, with Mike Birbiglia, a movie called "Sleepwalk with Me." In 2013 Ira Glass received the Medal for Spoken Language from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.